Work Stress May Strain Marriage. (Health Research)

Occupational Hazards, January 2002 | Go to article overview

Work Stress May Strain Marriage. (Health Research)


High levels of job stress may play a significant role in marital discord and could lead to divorce, according to results of a preliminary study.

Drs. Nicole A. Roberts and Robert W. Levenson of the University of California, Berkeley, evaluated the role stress and exhaustion play in marriages and published their findings in the November issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family. In the study, reported on by Reuters Health, 19 male police officers and their wives provided information about themselves and their marriages, then kept diaries of their day-to-day lives for a month.

Analysis revealed that the policemen brought their job stress home with them, where it affected their marital relationships. The findings suggest that "the effects of job stress are more costly and more widespread than those of physical exhaustion," the researchers concluded.

Roberts and Levenson suggest that couples make an extra effort to be attuned to the days when stress levels are highest "so that they can find ways to manage this stress constructively." Ideas include stress management techniques, making an effort to infuse positive emotions into marital conversations and finding ways to talk about job stress rather than avoiding it.

If companies offer terrorism coverage, premiums could increase dramatically. Preliminary premium indications given prior to Sept. 11 materialized into actual quotes in many cases 50 percent higher than the original indication, says Christine Fuge, a senior research analyst for International Risk Management Institute (IRMI). Several instances were reported where insurers have withdrawn quotes due to the loss of reinsurance.

"To quote one broker, 'The give is gone.'" Fuge says. "Even excellent accounts can now expect to see significant price increases and fewer coverage enhancements being made available."

Mark D. Hansen, CSP, PE, CPE, who joined St. Paul a couple of months ago as director of risk control, oil and gas, recalls how several small companies he used to work with as director of environmental, safety and health at Weather-ford were having a hard time finding workers' compensation insurance providers. The main reason was Sept. 11's effect on the comp market. "Any hardening that was going on will now be rock-solid," Hansen says.

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