AS AQA PSYA2 Psychology- Work place stress

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  • Created by: Ruth Butt
  • Created on: 31-05-13 09:36

Marmot et al '97- Lack of control at work

Marmot sought to test the job strain model proposing that workplace creates stress/illness into 2 ways: High demand and Low contro. This was done in the context of civil servant employees where high demand= higher grades and lower demand=lower grades. 

Method: 7,373 civil servants who took part in a questionairre and health check. Then 5 years later, reassesed for cardiovascular disease, coronary risk factors, employment grades, sense of job control and the amount of social support, over 5 years.

Findings: P's in higher grades had fewer cardiovascular problems than those in lower grades. P's in lower grades expressed less control and social support, and were more likely to be smokers or overweight.

Conclusion: Low control is linked to cardiovasular disease unlike high control, proving the job-strain model wrong. 

Evaluation: The socioeconomic status of employees means some are more likely to smoke, have unhealthy diets and drink excessive alcohol. This is a variable affecting stress and illness.

There is also a biased sample, as civil servants are more likely to live in urbans areas, and live job orientated lives. Caplan found that abitious individuals are more likely to be affected by workplace stress.

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Johansson et al 1978- Work place stress

Aimed to see whether work related stress created stress related physiological arousal and stress related illness. 

Method: A group of high risk finishers in a factory who had a highly skilled, repetitive job were compared to group of 10 cleaners. Urine samples were taken and analysed on work days and days off, to see levels of certain hormones. Records were kept of absenteeism.

Findings: Finishers had more stress on work days than days off, and more than the cleaners. They also had more stress related illnesses such as headaches, and higher numbers of absenteeism.

Conclusions: A combination of work stressors, e.g. responsibility and repetiveness lead to stress, illness and absenteeism. To reduce this, eplyers need to introduce some form of variation.

Evaluation: Individual differences in that some are more attracted to high risk work than others. 

The study doesn't identify which work stressors are most stressful. 

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Other sources of workplace stress

Relationships at work- bosses, colleagues, customers/clients, feeling valued or undervalued

Work pressures- Having too much to do and strict deadlines to meet, or too little to do (work underload).

Physical environments- noise, overcrowding, too hot or cold

Shift work patterns- Phase delay schedule where a 21 day rotation period improves productivity.

Role Abiguity, Role conflict and lack of control.

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