Monday, May 19, 2014

Are Academics Overly Stressed?

A survey of UK academics indicates that the answer is yes. From the Guardian:

Academics suffering mental health problems blame their university work directly for their illness, exclusive findings from a Guardian survey reveal.

Heavy workloads, lack of support and isolation are the key factors contributing to mental illness, according to respondents, who range from PhD students to vice-chancellors.

The Guardian survey, which specifically targeted academics suffering mental health problems, found that two-thirds of more than 2,500 who responded see their illness as a direct result of their university job.

Senior lecturers and those aged between 55-64 years feel most strongly about this connection.

Over half of academics, from the UK and overseas, say a heavy workload is having an impact on their mental health. A lack of support is also a key issue affecting 44% of respondents, which is felt across all ages from 25-64 years.

You can read more here. The survey is open to methodological criticism, but the results sound right. I would agree that the greatest degree of stress is found among the younger population--those with job insecurity: early tenure track and non tenure track. I am surprised to see noticeable levels of stress among the more senior population.


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