Occupational Stress in the Service Professions

Occupational Stress in the Service Professions

Occupational Stress in the Service Professions

Occupational Stress in the Service Professions

Synopsis

This work introduces the reader to contemporary theoretical and research issues and then provides a comprehensive international review of a range of professions. It identifies the main sources of stress for these specific occupation work groups and the implications for intervention.

Excerpt

For several decades, researchers in stress psychology and stress medicine have tried to create a unifying model to describe the core causes of work-related stress and a wide range of morbidity and mortality.

The two - complementary - concepts most widely applied are the demand-control-support model (Karasek and Theorell, 1990; Johnson and Hall, 1988; Johnson, 1997) and the effort-reward imbalance model (Siegrist, 1996).

Both have been tested empirically and compared with one another (i.e. 3rd International Conference on Work Environment and Cardiovascular Diseases, Düsseldorf, March 20-22, 2002; Kristensen and Siegrist, 2002).

The results so far indicate that both models capture key components of the stress-inducing characteristics of today's work environment but do so to a varying degree, depending on the profession under study and the specific conditions of work and life in each context.

Also, one person's meat is another person's poison. If your work situation exposes you to continuous over-stimulation, additional stimulation at work or outside it is unlikely to improve your overall situation. In contrast, if your work is habitually under-stimulating, such added stimulation may be highly beneficial.

Most of the current approaches to work-related stress have been rather non-specific. Many have focused on industrial jobs but less so on service professions. And they have usually not considered various professions one by one. This failure is corrected in this book on Occupational Stress in the Service Professions, edited by Maureen Dollard, Tony Winefield, and Helen Winefield. Focusing on professional groups as diverse as clergy and prostitutes, correctional officers and general practitioners, each chapter reviews the most recent literature about the service profession under study. It proceeds by identifying the specific (and non-specific) sources of work stress in each profession as well as the outcomes of such exposures, often drawing on studies conducted by the authors themselves. A theoretical critique of available research, options for therapeutic and preventive interventions and proposals for future research provide additional important components for consideration and action by relevant stakeholders.

The contributors are highly acknowledged researchers in these fields, from Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. By skilfully compiling their contributions, the editors offer the reader a fair method for

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