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Job stress

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Job stress has proven to be a difficult issue for the workplaces and the labor movement to tackle. Unlike physical or chemical hazards, there is not an obvious tangible hazardous agent. This issue has also been preempted by corporate stress management, health promotion, or employee assistance programs, which explain stress as a purely personal reaction, and often treat the symptoms, not the causes, of job stress. The occupational stress field also has been plagued by a variety of definitions and difficulties in measurement of stress.(Buunk,De-Jong,Y-Bemas&De wolff,1998) In addition, changes in job design or work organization are often inherently more "systems challenging" and require more radical restructuring of workplaces than reducing levels of exposure to toxic substances or ergonomic hazards. According to Mclean (1979) stress affect everyone in the workplace whether blue collar or white collar workers. Hughes (1971, p342) supported Mclean by stating that" the essential problems of men at work are the same whether they do their work in some famous laboratory or in the messiest vat room of a pickle factory" So this essay will review the major explanations that have been given for the higher rates of stress amongst working women's based of the interview conducted on south African female worker. Part one of this paper will discuss how the factors such as Gender's, race, marital status can cause stress among workers. In the second part work related factors such as heavy workload demand, control over work ,rewards and poor social relationship will be discussed.


Racial discrimination can make women to fell that she doesn't have control over her life .That in turn can contribute to feelings of negativism and lack of self esteem , which all increase risk of stress. Work related factors impacting on my interviewee job stress "Occupational stress has increased in recent years because more and more is demanded from workers in terms of long periods of intense time pressure and rapid change in the nature of the job due to the introduction of new technology, international markets" (Buunk et al ,1998,p.145) Many job conditions contributed to interviewee stress , such conditions includes heavy workloads demand , poor relationship with co workers and supervisors, low reward, sexual harassment , racial discrimination and work and family balance issue. As stated by Cooper & Payne(1978) white collars workers are more likely to experience occupational stress from allied stress and other interpersonal dynamics and less from the physical conditions of work. Theories accounting for occupational stress can be divided into four models namely social environment, person environment fit, vitamin model and job strain (Buunk et al, 1998). Social environment model view environmental factors such as the size of organisation that one is working for as the source of stressor .Organizational size can be a stressor(Cooper & Payne, 1978). Large organizations, especially the universities, can create a sense of helplessness to make required changes in the organization. Similarly, the technology used by an organization to provide its service can be a source of employee stress.


I mentioned my interviewee was married women with four children, putting more effort in her resulted in work conflict .She had to deal with work over load and this was the main cause of stress for her. Lastly this discussion has found that my interviewee was more likely to be stressed because of physical and sexual abuse .Studies shown that sexual abuse , in particular led to stress .Other factors contributing to my interviewee high level of stress include bad relationship with peers and supervisor. REFERENCE LISTS Buunk, B.P, de-Jonge,J ,Y-Bema ,J.F& de Wolff,C.J.(1998)Work psychology, Handbook of work and organizational psychology, (2nd ed).Hove :Psycholo).Psychological aspects of stress .In P.J.Drenth, H.Thiery,& de Wolff,C.J(eds).gy press, Ltd. Brouwers ,Tomic , Schmitch & Schwarzer (2000)Mental health outcomes of job stress among Chinese teachers: Journal of organizational behaviour,8 p.p 245-261 Cooper ,G & Smith ,M (1985).Job stress and blue collar work: New York .Plenum press. Cooper , G & Roy, P (1978).Stress at work: Chichester .J-Wiley Eckenrode J, & Gore ,S (1990).Stress between work and family: New York .Plenum press. Frankenhaeuser ,M ,Landberg U, & Chesney ,M. (1991).Women work and health :Stress opportunities .New York :Plenum press Friesen ,D & Sarros ,J (1989).Sources of burnout among educators :Journal of organizational behaviour,10 p.p 179-188 Gale group(2004).Bad relationship affect women more .Retrieved 14 march 2005 from Karasek RA. Control in the workplace and its health-related aspects. In Job Control and Worker Health, eds. SL Sauter, JJ Hurrell, CL Cooper. New York: Wiley, 1989; 129-159. Philips,D.L.& Segal .B.E (1969).Sexual status and psychiatric symptoms. American sociological review,34,58-7Shostaka,B(1980).Blue-collar stress :London .Addison -wesley.

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