Researchers find that adjuncts suffer from anxiety, depression due to working conditions

July 29, 2014

Research published in Frontiers of Psychology suggests that adjunct professors are at high risk for stress, depression, and anxiety brought about because of working conditions. The authors write, “[non-tenure-track] faculty perceive stressors at work that are related to their contingent positions. Demographic and situational factors, dysfunctional and coping mechanisms, and organizational commitment and identification were associated with more negative psychological experiences.” The authors propose a number of interventions that universities could implement to help mitigate the impact of these stressors. They suggest that institutions could offer rewards including recognition, support, compensation, and participation in shared governance. They note that institutions may wish to consider offering coping workshops for employees, but note that such training “may prove more difficult than it may sound” because the underlying conditions are the source of the problem. They further argue that institutions should explore the possibility that the increase in non-tenure-track positions may not be economically necessary. Inside Higher Ed | Full Study