Monday, March 15, 2010

Role Overload

Role overload is something that we, as students, are very familiar with. Between school, our families, our friends, and sometimes even work, there are times that 24 hours a day is not enough. In my own experience, I agree with what the book said about role overload. The book said that the more things we do per day, the more stressed we get, and the personal efficacy lessens. Being a student, an eldest sibling in my family, trying to have a social life, and trying to find work, I found out that there are times that I find myself lacking in some roles. For example, to be able to relax and spend time with friends, I have to give up doing my homework at an early time. When this happens, I end up falling asleep or just putting off homework for the next day.

I always thought though that role overload would be one of the major stressors in a person’s life. I was shocked after coming across this study. According to a study named “Role Overload, Role Conflict, and Stress: Addressing Consequences of Multiple Role Demands” by Shelley Coverman, though role overload does play a role in giving a person stress, it was not something major. “The weakest effects observed in the model involved role overload. These effects tend to be small and inconsistent, suggesting that time expenditures do not strongly influence stress levels.” (p.978) Interestingly enough, things like marriage problems or employment problems ranked higher than the overload.

Coverman, S. (2989). Role Overload, Role Conflict, and Stress: Addressing Consequences of Mutiple Role Demands. University of North Carolina Press , pp.965-982.

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