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First Advisor

Melanie M. Domenech Rodriguez


Psi Chi faculty advisors are the guiding force behind each functioning chapter nationwide. Unfortunately faculty members broadly are experiencing ever increasing levels of occupational stress due to teaching, research, and advising responsibilities (Tytherleigh, Webb, Cooper, & Ricketts, 2005). This stress often results in decreased productivity and an increase in absenteeism and disability (Pelletier & Lutz, 1988). As the Psi Chi mission statement is "to continue to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members" (Psi Chi, 2002), it is important that faculty advisors be active, involved, and healthy. The current study sought to assess general stress levels as well as specific sources of stress among a national sample of Psi Chi faculty advisors using the Job Stress Survey (Spielberger, Reheiser, Reheiser, & Vagg, 2000). Tenure track status, professor rank, years working in the field, and scholarly productivity were also assessed and compared with occupational stress levels. Our objective was to discover how much and what type of stress Psi Chi advisors experienced. We also attempted to identify common indicators of higher or lower stress levels. Results indicated that level of stress were higher than average. Additionally, tenure status was the only variable of interest significantly associated with advisor stress levels. However, other factors such as time spent advising undergraduate research, preparing for class, overseeing psi chi administrative business, and working on service activities all proved to significantly increase reported stress levels.

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