CARING FOR “PARENTLESS” CHILDREN: AN EXPLORATION OF WORK STRESSORS AND RESOURCES AS EXPERIENCED BY CAREGIVERS IN CHILDREN’S HOMES IN GHANA

Ernest Darkwah, Maxwell Asumeng, Marguerite Daniel

Abstract


The experience of stress by workers in any work environment has negative impacts on employee health and productivity. However, work resources are known to have possible neutralizing impacts on the negative effects of stress depending on the availability of those resources and the extent to which employees are able to identify and utilize them. This study explores this stress–resource relationship and its implications in a work context where the lives of vulnerable children depend on the wellbeing and productivity of their employed caregivers. Qualitative exploratory techniques were used to investigate the sources and nature of stressors experienced by caregivers and the extent to which caregivers identify and utilize resources available in that work environment. Participants comprised 41 caregivers from 2 children’s homes in Ghana. It emerged that aspects of the work environment that were identified as stressors also tended to be identified as resources for caregivers. These included the children, the work environment, institution–community relations, and relationships between caregivers and their own families. Caregiver faith and intrinsic motivation stood out as the most frequently reported of the  resources upon which caregivers drew to cope with their jobs.

Keywords


children’s homes; caregivers; stressors; resources; parentless children; workplace stress

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18357/ijcyfs82201717850



Copyright (c) 2017 Ernest Darkwah, Maxwell Asumeng, Marguerite Daniel

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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Victoria, BC Canada

 

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