Literature Review

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Lee Ritchie
Lee Ritchie

Literature Review
SWG 560
Literature Review
SWG 560

I am determined to find an answer to the following question: Are middle aged women more stressed out than any other population and does that eventually lead to depression? The articles that I will be reviewing center along the issues of stress in middle aged women and the effects that are caused due to feelings of being overwhelmed. It is predicted that stress can eventually lead to issues involving depression or other health related issues over a long period of time. All three articles that I reviewed are quantitative research based. They contained studies that involved surveys in order to prove their original hypothesis. I will initially discuss Women’s “inner balance”: a comparison of stressors, personality traits and health problems by age groups, (Kenney, 2000). The research sought to discover a comparison on issues surrounding middle aged women and determine why they seem to have a higher level of stress for their age group. The author’s method of research was a questionnaire and ANOVAs were used to compare women by three age groups. The three groups were categorized by young women (18-29 years old), middle-age women (30-45 years old), and older women (46-66 years old). Kenney’s (2000) study used the following method to recruit individuals: Volunteers were given a cover letter explaining the nature and purpose of the study, a questionnaire, and a stamped addressed envelope to return the completed questionnaire. To attract minority women, a small remuneration of $5 was offered as an incentive for returning a completed questionnaire.

Kenney’s study involved several instruments that were eventually used to determine their findings and form the conclusion. A 15 page questionnaire was used initially in order to have the subjects answer questions involving their stressors. It was designed for them to indicate on a Likert scale with 1 being low and 10 being high. The researchers were able to determine what stressors were normal to their everyday lives and which provided additional stress for them. They broke down the next section by measuring the different personality traits of the individuals by measuring their pessimism, fears of others opinions, and abuse history. In doing so they were able to determine the amount of pleasure each subject achieved within each role of their lives (i.e., mother, wife, and employee). Kenney’s (2000) questionnaire required the respondents to complete the following: Section four asked women to identify health problems they experienced from a list of 20 common physical and emotional symptoms, selected from a review of the literature and similar surveys (Appendix 1). Cronbach’s alphas for internal consistency were 0-78 on physical symptoms 0.94 on emotional symptoms and 0.93 on combined symptoms. The fifth section, an ‘inner balance’ index was a semantic differential scale of 40 items adapted from Eliot’s (1995) Quality of Life Index. This index was designed to identify the balance between major stressors and resources related to one’s career, relationships, personal lifestyle, health behaviors, and personality traits.

The discussions involved with this study included finding out what was stressing for women among all age groups. It also took into consideration different personality traits and symptoms of the stress itself. Kenney (2000) discusses the following: In this study, middle-aged women had significantly more daily hassles and overall stressors than younger or older women, which were probably related to their multiple roles and responsibilities, as wives, mothers, employees, students and caretakers of elderly parents. With these multiple roles, middle-aged women reported more stressors related to managing home responsibilities, running errands/commuting children, not receiving adequate help or emotional support from their partner, and not finding time to relax.” The eventual conclusions...
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