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"Stress in the workplace will become the epidemic of the 21st century." Outline and evaluate the contribution of two or more factors to stress in the workplace.

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Introduction

"Stress in the workplace will become the epidemic of the 21st century." Outline and evaluate the contribution of two or more factors to stress in the workplace. A workplace stressor is some aspect of the working environment that we experience as stressful and which causes a stress reaction in our body. There are two types of workplace stressors. Physical stressors such as noise, length of working day etc and psychosocial stressors such as relationships with co-workers, organisation if work and role responsibility. Each of these has the potential to cause stress but this depends on other factors like the individual's ability to cope and available social support. Marmot et al (1997) sought to test the job strain model. This model proposes that the workplace creates stress and illness in two ways high demand and low control. ...read more.

Middle

The main conclusion is that low control appears to be linked to higher stress and also linked to cardiovascular disorders, whereas high job demand is not linked to stress and illness. This does not fully support the job-strain model because it does not shoe that high demand is linked to illness. Socio-economic status (SES) is a measure of the kind of job a person does, how much money they have etc. People who are of low SES are more likely to smoke, live in more stressful environments and have poorer diets which are all factors linked to cardiovascular problems. This means that low grade civil servants may have more cardiovascular problems than high-grade civil servants because of factors related to ow SES rather than because they lack job control. ...read more.

Conclusion

The high risk group was found to have higher illness rates and also higher levels of adrenaline, with higher hormone levels. This is evidence that there is a direct link between job demand, stress hormones and illness. The study also suggests that a sense of control increases stress in contrast with Marmot et al. The study by Marmot et al suggested that lack of control was a source of stress in the workplace. However there may be individual differences. Schaubroeck et al (2001) found that some workers respond differently to lack of control - they are less stressed by having no control or responsibility. They measured saliva from which they could assess immune system functioning directly. They found that some people had higher immune responses in low control situations. Some people view negative work outcomes as being their fault. For these employees control can actually exacerbate the unhealthful effects of stress. ...read more.

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