Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Effect of Intervention Programme on Different Stressors in Lawyers

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Effect of Intervention Programme on Different Stressors in Lawyers

Article excerpt

Stress is derived from the Latin word "Stringere" which means to draw tight. Stress is a dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity, demand or resource related to what the individual desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important (Cooper Ritchie, Broghammer, Coffin, Sorosky and Buller, 2002). Stress has been a focus of study in medical science where it has been defined as a perturbation of the body's homeostasis. This demand on mind-body occurs when it tries to cope with incessant changes in life.

Of all the stressors working in an individual's life, job stress is one of the leading causes of stress. In the organizational context, stress has been found to be experienced by employees during job insecurity, performance expectations, technology changes, and personal and family problems. Hans Selye first introduced the concept of stress in to the life science in 1936. He defined stress as "The force, pressure, or strain exerted upon a material object or person which resist these forces and attempt to maintain its original state." Stress is ubiquitous in our society. It has become an integral part of everyday living. Steers (1981) indicate that, "Occupational stress has become an important topic for study of organisational behaviour for several reasons." 1. Stress has harmful psychological and physiological effects on employees, 2. Stress is a major cause of employee turnover and absenteeism, 3. Stress experienced by one employee can affect the safety of other employees, 4. By controlling dysfunctional stress, individual and organisation can be managed more effectively.

Occupational stress is an increasingly important occupational health problem and a significant cause of economic loss. Occupational stress may produce both overt psychological and physiologic disabilities. There have been many studies on the relationship between job stress and job satisfaction and these studies generally indicate that job stress and satisfaction are inversly related (Beehr, Walsh & Taber, 1976; Cotton ,Dollard & de Jonge, 2002;hawe,tuck ,Manthie ,Adair & Moore 2000; Heslop, Smith Metcalfe, Macleod & Hart, 2002; Lu, Shiau & Cooper , 1997; Manivannan, Saravanaraj & Sumathi,2007; richardsen & Burke, 1991 ; Sullivan & Bhagat, 1992; Ulleberg & Rundmo, 1997).

Sheena, Cary, Sue, Ian, Paul and Clare (2005) studies in UK found that there are some occupations that are reporting worse than average scores on each of the factors such as physical health, psychological well-being, andjob satisfaction. Stress is inevitable in the practice of law (Sharma, Verma, Verma & Malhotra, 2010). As lawyers experience increased workplace stress, their relationships with colleagues becomes more strained. Many studies over the past two decades show that lawyers in the United States suffer poor physical health and significant levels of mental illness, especially depression, alcoholism and drug abuse, as well as high rates of divorce and suicidal ideation (Benjamin, Kaszniak, Sales and Shanfield, 1986).

While life and work for many today seem more stressful than in past times, specific characteristics of practicing law seem to accentuate stress levels. The lawyer must balance empathy with objective detachment and enjoy confrontation. But even for the toughest of lawyers, stress, at some point or another, becomes an issue. Lawyer's stress is a heavily studied subject. With the long hours, pressure and intensity of the job, lawyers and other professionals experience, in some cases, serious anxiety.

The anxiety worsens as lawyers are pressured to make partner, move ahead, save clients and be constantly updating their knowledge of the law.

The present study is an attempt to investigate the level of stress experienced by the lawyers in Himachal Pradesh. The study aims to ascertain the level of stress and coping strategies adopted by the lawyers in order to strengthen the crisis of stagnation and growing job dissatisfaction. …

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