Occupational Stress among Anganawadi Workers in Kerala State, India: Implications in Psychiatric Social Work
Background: Stress related to one’s job is referred as occupational stress. It occurs due to unexpected responsibilities and pressure on the person. The Anganawadi workers under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme are the grass root level workers in India. They are expected to do all the holistic activities related to Anganawadi children, adolescent girls and breast feeding mothers. Apart from that they are assigned to do surveys, election work, polio irradiation program and so on. All these additional activities apart from their routine work can lead to extreme stress among Anganawadi workers. The present study was conducted among the Anganawadi workers of Kasargod district in Kerala to unearth the level of occupational stress experienced by them. Methodology: A descriptive research design is used in the study. The universe of the study was Kanhangad additional area in Kasargod, Kerala. From the master list of Anganwadi workers working in the three panchayath under the block, namely Pallikkara, Pullur-Periye and Uduma, thirty (30) were randomly selected as respondents (sample). Anganwadi workers in service at least for the past one year and have given written consent were only included in the study. Data was collected from the respondents using (1) a socio-demographic profile and (2) Occupational Stress scale . Approval for the study was granted by the research committee of the Department of Social Work, Central University of Kerala and thedata collection was completed in the month of November, 2016. Results: Data was analyzed to unearth the level of occupational stress among the respondents. It revealed that 83.3% Anganwadi workers were experiencing moderate level of stress and another 16.7% reported severe stress. Also, workers withlesser experience in service perceived higher occupational stress. Conclusion: Occupational stress is a reality among Anganwadi workers. Departmental intervention, implementation of stress management to harmonize the personal, professional and social life of the workers, booster training and handholding exercises, preparation of stress information materials and its dissemination among workers are suggested.
Key words: Occupation, stress, ICDS, Anganwadi workers
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