Special Issue "Stress and Work"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Tiziana Ramaci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University of Enna “Kore,” 94100 Enna, Italy
Interests: health; safety; organizational wellbeing; stress; compliance; risk perception; HCWs; careers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last three decades, a large body of research showed that psychological distress, wellbeing and productivity outcomes are influenced both by individual differences (traits, values) and also the whole organization itself, conceptualized as a complete organic system. Organizational wellbeing is thus related to work environment characteristics (relationships, climate, culture, and performance), such as job dimensions (time pressure, decision authority, and social support).

Occupational stress is a serious health issue affecting organizations and employees. Over the last few years, many changes have occurred in workplaces that led to organizations focusing more on work-related stress. Nowadays, in all working contexts there is an increased awareness of the negative impact of stress on the physical, psychological, and social health of individuals. In the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS 2000), work-related stress was found to be the second most common work-related health problem across the EU15 (at 28%; only back pain was more common).

This Special Issue seeks papers advancing insights into how organizational and individual stress, often transforming the workplace into a hostile and, above all, extremely demanding context from a psychological point of view, in both clinical and non-clinical settings.

We welcome papers that bring together international researchers from different theoretical and methodological perspectives, biological and clinical standpoint, in order to advance knowledge and practice in the field of work stress.  

We hope that this Special Issue will facilitate a diverse range of research into how the employee’s quality of life, reducing psychological stress.

Prof. Venerando Rapisarda
Prof. Ramaci Tiziana
Prof. Caterina Ledda
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Work stress factors
  • Wellbeing
  • Individual differences 
  • Organizational variables on psychosocial job dimensions (time pressure, decision authority, and social support)
  • Recovery from demanding jobs
  • Work–family interactions
  • Physical health
  • Psychological health
  • Relationships
  • Performance
  • Stress biomarkers
  • Inflammation and stress
  • Absenteeism
  • Mobbing
  • Straining
  • Stress-related disorders

Published Papers (32 papers)

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Research

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Article
Attitudes of Healthcare Personnel towards Vaccinations before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2703; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052703 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3035
Abstract
Vaccines constitute highly effective tools for controlling and eliminating vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) and are assessed to avert between two to three million deaths per year globally. Healthcare personnel (HCP) constitute a priority group for several vaccinations. However, studies indicate significant rates of vaccine [...] Read more.
Vaccines constitute highly effective tools for controlling and eliminating vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) and are assessed to avert between two to three million deaths per year globally. Healthcare personnel (HCP) constitute a priority group for several vaccinations. However, studies indicate significant rates of vaccine hesitancy among them and, therefore, of acceptance of vaccination recommendations. This cross-sectional study was conducted in a university hospital in Southern Italy to assess the knowledge and attitudes of HCP about VPDs before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, estimate their intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and search for determinants that may influence their choice. A self-administered questionnaire was used. HCP improved their knowledge about VPDs and were more favorable to vaccinations in September–December 2020 compared to January–December 2019. Overall, 75% of respondents would get a COVID-19 vaccine. Our findings indicate a potential role of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on Italian HCP’s knowledge and attitudes towards vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
Article
Gender Patterns in Mobbing Victims: Differences in Negative Act Perceptions, MMPI Personality Profile, Perceived Quality of Life, and Suicide Risk
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2192; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18042192 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 922
Abstract
With the aim of investigating the impact of gender-related personality characteristics on bullying perceptions and outcomes, a correlational study was designed with 114 individuals who had used a public health service aimed at harassed workers identifying themselves as victims of mobbing in central [...] Read more.
With the aim of investigating the impact of gender-related personality characteristics on bullying perceptions and outcomes, a correlational study was designed with 114 individuals who had used a public health service aimed at harassed workers identifying themselves as victims of mobbing in central Italy. The study was conducted using the following questionnaires: the Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ), a measure of workplace bullying; the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2), used to provide information to measure personality dimensions for workplace screening; the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BRIEF) which assesses four domains assumed to represent the quality of life construct; and the Suicidal Potential Scale (SPS) used to assess suicidal ideation. MMPI-2 profile results show a significant elevation of specific MMPI scales and gender differences. When compared to women, men who complain of being the victims of negative actions at work are more depressed, paranoid, introverted, anxious, and obsessive, and have higher anger levels and lower self-esteem. Many different MMPI-2 scales are also predictors of quality of life (QoL) perceptions and suicidal tendencies. The NAQ total score, however, predicts quality of life and suicide risk. Perceptions of negative actions have a serious effect on life outcomes. The results provide useful indications on personality profiles and gender differences, which can be understood as antecedents in the perception of negative events, and factors capable of modulating the effect of perceived bullying actions on outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Impact of Workplace Conflicts on Self-Reported Medically Certified Sickness Absence in Latvia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1193; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031193 - 29 Jan 2021
Viewed by 949
Abstract
Sickness absence is one of the most important working population health indicators. It is a complex phenomenon that is investigated by health care and occupational health specialists, economists, and work psychologists. Sickness absence is used as a predictor for morbidity and mortality, but [...] Read more.
Sickness absence is one of the most important working population health indicators. It is a complex phenomenon that is investigated by health care and occupational health specialists, economists, and work psychologists. Sickness absence is used as a predictor for morbidity and mortality, but besides the health status of an individual, sickness absence is influenced by demographic, socio-economic factors, and work environment factors. Conflicts at work are a common psychosocial risk factor that can affect sickness absence. The aim of the study was to investigate the association between different types of workplace conflict and self-reported medically certified sickness absence using cross-sectional survey data pooled from four periodic national surveys—Work conditions and risks in Latvia (2006–2018). The sample is representative of the working population of Latvia, as respondents were randomly drawn from different regions and industries. In total, the study sample (n = 8557) consisted of employees between 16 and 80 years old (average 42.8 +/− 12.6) of which 46.2% were males and 53.8% were females. Researchers used the computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) method for collecting data. The association between workplace conflicts and sickness absence was analysed by using binomial logistic regression and calculated as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI), with adjustment for gender, age, education and survey year. The risk of sickness absence was higher among women (OR = 1.24, CI 1.13–1.35), employees aged 25–44 years old and employees with higher income. Controlling for socio-demographic factors and survey year, the odds of sickness absence increased significantly for all types of workplace conflict analysed. The strongest association with sickness absence was related to conflicts between managers and employees (OR = 1.51, CI 1.37–1.66) and conflicts between groups of employees (OR = 1.45, CI 1.31–1.61). Conflicts between employees and with customers also increased the odds of sickness absence (OR = 1.39, CI 1.27–1.52 and OR = 1.11, CI 1.01–1.23, respectively). Our findings suggest that tailored interventions at a company level for reducing workplace conflicts as risk factors of sickness absence are required. Those should focus on the improvement of managers’ leadership and human resource management skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
Article
The Effect of Emotional Dissonance and Mental Load on Need for Recovery and Work Engagement among Italian Fixed-Term Researchers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 99; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18010099 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 780
Abstract
Although many studies have been conducted to evaluate the risk and protective factors on psychological health among academic staff, little attention has been paid to fixed-term researchers, the weakest figures in the academic context. By using the Job Demands–Resources model as theoretical framework, [...] Read more.
Although many studies have been conducted to evaluate the risk and protective factors on psychological health among academic staff, little attention has been paid to fixed-term researchers, the weakest figures in the academic context. By using the Job Demands–Resources model as theoretical framework, we investigated: (1) the role of some job demands (workload, mental load, and emotional dissonance) in predicting the need for recovery; (2) the role of some job resources (independence, career opportunities, and work–life balance) in predicting work engagement; and (3) the moderating role of the contract type (more or less precarious). We focused in particular on emotional dissonance (the discrepancy between emotions that need to be displayed and what is really felt), assuming its unique role in predicting fatigue. Results of structural equation modeling analysis generally supported our hypotheses and highlighted a so far undiscovered path between mental load and work engagement. Specifically, mental load leads to fatigue only indirectly through workload and emotional dissonance, while significantly predicting the absorption and the dedication of fixed-term Italian researchers. The latter relationship was also moderated by the contract type, so that mental load predicts dedication especially among researchers in the most precarious condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Mental and Physical Factors Influencing Wellbeing among South Korean Emergency Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 70; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18010070 - 24 Dec 2020
Viewed by 970
Abstract
Emergency workers are frequently exposed to hazardous situations and such life patterns can influence their wellbeing. This study examined the relationships among South Korean emergency workers’ precedents and consequences of positive emotion, engagement, relationship, meaning, and achievement (PERMA), a wellbeing concept, and offered [...] Read more.
Emergency workers are frequently exposed to hazardous situations and such life patterns can influence their wellbeing. This study examined the relationships among South Korean emergency workers’ precedents and consequences of positive emotion, engagement, relationship, meaning, and achievement (PERMA), a wellbeing concept, and offered solutions. A total of 597 emergency workers in Daegu, South Korea, participated in a survey. This study measured post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome, burnout, depression, PERMA, quality of life, life satisfaction, and sleep quality to test the relationships. Results demonstrated that post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome and burnout predicted distracting sleep behavior and sleep health. Depression was significantly related to PERMA. The better the emergency workers’ PERMA was, the better their quality of life and life satisfaction were. PERMA significantly predicted sleep behavior, a portion of sleep quality. Depression had an indirect influence on quality of life mediated by PERMA. Post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome, burnout, and PERMA were significant predictors of low sleep health and sleep behavior. The results indicate that South Korean emergency workers struggle with depression and sleep quality. As the data were collected during the coronavirus disease 19 pandemic, individual efforts and relevant programs to improve South Korean emergency workers’ PERMA and sleep quality in a crisis are recommended. Possible solutions to improve the wellbeing of South Korean emergency workers are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
The Influence of the COVID-19 Event on Deviant Workplace Behavior Taking Tianjin, Beijing and Hebei as an Example
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18010059 - 23 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1094
Abstract
Background: Since the beginning of 2020, the Corona Virus Disease has broken out globally. This public health incident has had a great impact on the work and life of the public. Aim: Based on the event system theory, this article explored [...] Read more.
Background: Since the beginning of 2020, the Corona Virus Disease has broken out globally. This public health incident has had a great impact on the work and life of the public. Aim: Based on the event system theory, this article explored the influence of the “COVID-19” event on emotional exhaustion and deviant workplace behaviors. Methods: This survey’s objects are employees working in Tianjin, Beijing, Hebei affected by the epidemic. Using the questionnaire star, the online platform of the Marketing Research Office of Peking University and “snowball” methods 700 questionnaires were collected. Results: The response rate was 89.71% (n = 700). Female employees are more sensitive to the perceived event strength of the novel coronavirus pneumonia than male employees (F = 10.94, p <0.001); Employees aged 30–40 affected by the epidemic have the highest level of emotional exhaustion (F = 5.22, p < 0.01); A higher education level leads to a higher level of emotional exhaustion (F = 4.74, p < 0.01); The emotional exhaustion is polarized with the annual family income (F = 4.099, p < 0.01). Conclusions: The novelty, disruption, criticality of the Corona Virus Disease event has had a positive impact on the emotional exhaustion of employees in the workplace; Emotional exhaustion plays a partly mediating role between event strength with constructive deviant behaviors, and destructive deviant behaviors. Emotional exhaustion has a positive effect on creative constructive deviant behaviors, challenging constructive deviant behaviors, and interpersonal destructive deviant behaviors. Emotional exhaustion has a negative impact on organizational destructive deviant behaviors, and has no significant impact on interpersonal constructive deviant behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Perceived Factors of Stress and Its Outcomes among Hotel Housekeepers in the Balearic Islands: A Qualitative Approach from a Gender Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 52; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18010052 - 23 Dec 2020
Viewed by 750
Abstract
Tourism is the main economic sector in the Balearic Islands (Spain) and hotel housekeepers (HHs) are a large occupational group, in which stress is becoming a major issue. This study aims at exploring in-depth factors perceived as stressors by HHs and key-informants, and [...] Read more.
Tourism is the main economic sector in the Balearic Islands (Spain) and hotel housekeepers (HHs) are a large occupational group, in which stress is becoming a major issue. This study aims at exploring in-depth factors perceived as stressors by HHs and key-informants, and their effects on work-life balance (WLB). A qualitative design with phenomenological approach was used, conducting six focus groups with 34 HHs and 10 individual interviews with key-informants. Results were analyzed adopting the job demands-resources model and a gender perspective. High demands, e.g., work overload, time pressure, physical burden…, lack of enough resources and little control, derived from role conflict, unexpected events…, were the most important factors explaining HHs’ stress. Additionally, this imbalance was perceived as leading to health problems, mainly musculoskeletal disorders. Working schedule was mentioned as a facilitator to WLB, whereas an imbalance between job demands and resources led to work-home conflict, preventing them from enjoying leisure time. Multiple roles at work and at home increased their stress. HHs experienced their job as invisible and unrecognised. Regarding practical implications, our recommendations for hotel organization include reducing workload and increasing resources, which would improve the job demands-resource balance, diminish negative mental and physical outcomes and improve WLB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
The Roles of Work-Life Conflict and Gender in the Relationship between Workplace Bullying and Personal Burnout. A Study on Italian School Principals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8745; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17238745 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 773
Abstract
The present study sought to investigate the associations between workplace bullying and personal burnout both directly and indirectly via work-life conflict. Furthermore, the moderating role of gender in these relations was examined. Traditional research on stress at work focuses on the role of [...] Read more.
The present study sought to investigate the associations between workplace bullying and personal burnout both directly and indirectly via work-life conflict. Furthermore, the moderating role of gender in these relations was examined. Traditional research on stress at work focuses on the role of dimensions related to job tasks, demands, and organizational support in influencing the risks for stress-related problems in employees. At the same time, other experiences at work may reduce employees’ well-being, such as workplace bullying and family life. Specifically, considering the detrimental role of work-life conflict, it is possible to hypothesize that it would exacerbate workplace bullying’s harmful effects on employees’ health. Moreover, since previous studies have reported mixed or inconsistent results when considering gender differences with the above-mentioned dimensions, it seems worth investigating the role of employee gender in representing (and response to) the bullying experiences. Building on these considerations, this work verifies whether: (1) work-life conflict mediates the relationship between workplace bullying and burnout; (2) gender moderates all the possible relationships among the constructs. Such hypotheses are verified on a sample of school principals, in light of their peculiar job role. Overall, our findings showed that: (1) Workplace bullying and burnout are associated, both with and without the perception of a concurring work-life conflict; (2) Gender does not moderate all the possible relationships among workplace bullying, work-life conflict and burnout. Overall, being female heightens the risk to perceive work-life conflict in general, as well as to be burnt out, when bullied, with and without the presence of work-life conflict; being male heightens the risk to perceive work-life conflict when bullied. Furthermore, the current findings suggest that family demands may influence school principals’ feelings of exhaustion regardless of gender. These findings confirm and expand previous literature, especially concerning a less studied occupation, namely school principals, shedding a new light on their work experiences. Furthermore, the present study offers interesting implications for trainings on principal’s skills and professional identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Postural Control and Stress Exposure in Young Men: Changes in Cortisol Awakening Response and Blood Lactate
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7222; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17197222 - 02 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 664
Abstract
Background: It has recently been noticed that the quantity of stress affects postural stability in young women. The study was conducted with the goal of investigating whether increased stress may damagingly effect posture control in 90 young men (71 right-handed and 19 left-handed) [...] Read more.
Background: It has recently been noticed that the quantity of stress affects postural stability in young women. The study was conducted with the goal of investigating whether increased stress may damagingly effect posture control in 90 young men (71 right-handed and 19 left-handed) while maintaining an upright bipedal posture, while keeping their eyes open or closed. Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was administered and changes in free cortisol levels were monitored (Cortisol Awakening Response, CAR) in order to evaluate the amount of stress present during awakening, while the Profile of Mood States (POMS) was used to estimate distress on the whole. Posture control was evaluated with the use of a force platform, which, while computing a confidence ellipse area of 95%, was engaged by the Center of Pressure through five stability stations and was sustained for a minimum of 52 s, with and without visual input. Another goal of the experiment was to find out whether or not cortisol increases in CAR were linked with rises of blood lactate levels. Results: CAR, PSS and POMS were found to be extensively related. Furthermore, it has been observed that increases in salivary cortisol in CAR are associated with small but significant increases in blood lactate levels. As expected, stress levels did affect postural stability. Conclusions: The results of the present study confirm that the level of stress can influence postural stability, and that this influence is principally obvious when visual information is not used in postural control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Hospital Staff Report It Is Not Burnout, but a Normal Stress Reaction to an Uncongenial Work Environment: Findings from a Qualitative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4107; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17114107 - 09 Jun 2020
Viewed by 1475
Abstract
(1) Background: The issue of burnout in healthcare staff is frequently discussed in relation to occupational health. In this paper, we report healthcare staff experiences of stress and burnout. (2) Methods: In total, 72 healthcare staff were interviewed from psychiatry, surgery, and emergency [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The issue of burnout in healthcare staff is frequently discussed in relation to occupational health. In this paper, we report healthcare staff experiences of stress and burnout. (2) Methods: In total, 72 healthcare staff were interviewed from psychiatry, surgery, and emergency departments at an Australian public health service. The sample included doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrators, and front-line managers. Interview transcripts were thematically analyzed, with participant experiences interpreted against descriptors of burnout in Maslach’s Burnout Inventory and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11). (3) Results: Staff experiences closely matched the ICD-11 description of stress associated with working in an uncongenial workplace, with few reported experiences which matched the ICD-11 descriptors of burnout. (4) Conclusion: Uncongenial workplaces in public health services contribute to healthcare staff stress. While previous approaches have focused on biomedical assistance for individuals, our findings suggest that occupational health approaches to addressing health care staff stress need greater focus on the workplace as a social determinant of health. This finding is significant as organizational remedies to uncongenial stress are quite different from remedies to burnout. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
Article
Longitudinal Analysis of Work-to-Family Conflict and Self-Reported General Health among Working Parents in Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3966; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17113966 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1281
Abstract
The combination of work and family roles can lead to work-to-family conflict (WTFC), which may have consequences for the parents’ health. We examined the association between WTFC and self-reported general health among working parents in Germany over time. Data were drawn from wave [...] Read more.
The combination of work and family roles can lead to work-to-family conflict (WTFC), which may have consequences for the parents’ health. We examined the association between WTFC and self-reported general health among working parents in Germany over time. Data were drawn from wave 6 (2013) and wave 8 (2015) of the German family and relationship panel. It included working persons living together with at least one child in the household (791 mothers and 723 fathers). Using logistic regressions, we estimated the longitudinal effects of WTFC in wave 6 and 8 on self-reported general health in wave 8. Moderating effects of education were also considered. The odds ratio for poor self-reported general health for mothers who developed WTFC in wave 8 compared to mothers who never reported conflicts was 2.4 (95% CI: 1.54–3.68). For fathers with newly emerged WTFC in wave 8, the odds ratio was 1.8 (95% CI: 1.03–3.04). Interactions of WTFC with low education showed no significant effects on self-reported general health, although tendencies show that fathers with lower education are more affected. It remains to be discussed how health-related consequences of WTFC can be reduced e.g., through workplace interventions and reconciliation policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Stress, Burnout, and Turnover Issues of Black Expatriate Education Professionals in South Korea: Social Biases, Discrimination, and Workplace Bullying
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3851; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17113851 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1588
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to understand expatriate educators’ overall teaching experiences and opinions about living in South Korea. The research study sought to explore the relationship between stressors and social biases against Black individuals and their suicidal behaviours and turnover decisions. [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to understand expatriate educators’ overall teaching experiences and opinions about living in South Korea. The research study sought to explore the relationship between stressors and social biases against Black individuals and their suicidal behaviours and turnover decisions. The approach of stress, burnout, career decision, and suicide guided this study as the lens. The research method for this study included a phenomenological analysis of two sessions of semi-structured interviews with 18 Black expatriates in the field of education in South Korea. The results indicate that their experiences were impacted by unfairness against individuals based on their skin colour and nationalities. The outcomes of this study highlight the major difficulties experienced by foreign professionals living in South Korea. They can be used by human resource professionals, school administrators, and government leaders to reform their current policy and improve expatriate experiences so as to prevent turnover. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Antecedents and Contextual Factors Affecting Occupational Turnover among Registered Nurses in Public Hospitals in Hong Kong: A Qualitative Descriptive Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3834; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17113834 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1327
Abstract
Global increases in both population size and ageing have led to a drastic expansion in the demand for healthcare services. The shortage of nursing workforce capacity continues, posing immense challenges for the global healthcare system. We aimed to identify the antecedents and contextual [...] Read more.
Global increases in both population size and ageing have led to a drastic expansion in the demand for healthcare services. The shortage of nursing workforce capacity continues, posing immense challenges for the global healthcare system. We aimed to identify the antecedents and contextual factors that contribute to the decisions of occupational turnover from the clinical duties of registered nurses in public hospitals in Hong Kong. A qualitative descriptive design was used in this study. A total of 18 registered nurses who had resigned from public hospitals in Hong Kong and changed their occupations were recruited via convenience and snowball sampling methods. Data were collected through individual, semi-structured, and face-to-face interviews and were analyzed according to the content analysis approach. The antecedents and contextual factors that contributed to the registered nurses’ decisions regarding occupational turnover were identified from the collected data. These factors were classified into three overarching categories: (1) job dissatisfaction due to a tense work environment, (2) low motivation due to limited career opportunities, and (3) inadequate communication due to ineffective leadership. The identification of these antecedents and contextual factors could help healthcare service providers to develop strategies to enhance nurses’ commitment and engagement in their positions and eventually improve their retention. Based on these factors, healthcare sector policy makers could consider incorporating appropriate strategies into healthcare system policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
Article
Mindfulness as a Protective Factor for Dissatisfaction in HCWs: The Moderating Role of Mindful Attention between Climate Stress and Job Satisfaction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3818; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17113818 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1228
Abstract
With the aim of investigating the possible moderating effect of job control and dispositional mindfulness between different sources of organizational stress and job satisfaction, a correlational study was designed involving health care workers (HCWs). The following questionnaires were administered and completed by 237 [...] Read more.
With the aim of investigating the possible moderating effect of job control and dispositional mindfulness between different sources of organizational stress and job satisfaction, a correlational study was designed involving health care workers (HCWs). The following questionnaires were administered and completed by 237 HCWs: (1) Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI), to measure the sources of stress at work (managerial role, climate power, climate structure, internal relationships), and job satisfaction; (2) Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) to assess the individual’s level of attention to what is taking place in the present; (3) Job Control Scale (JCS) to assess the perceived control at work. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the hypothesized relationships between variables; the results showed that, between the different sources of stress, the organizational climate dimension was negatively associated with job satisfaction; moreover, mindfulness attention moderated the relationship between climate stress and job satisfaction; unexpectedly, the interaction between job control and the organizational climate dimension was not significant in affecting job satisfaction. This study can provide useful information for Human Resources Management (HRM) practices regarding job and mental control interventions and empowerment, and possibly offer a new interpretation of the role of attention to what is happening in the present moment and autonomy between climate stressors and occupational satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Exploring Links between Polychronicity and Job Performance from the Person–Environment Fit Perspective—The Mediating Role of Well-Being
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3711; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17103711 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Polychronicity refers to the preference of some individuals to structure their time in order to deal with multiple tasks simultaneously in a short period of time. Past research regarding the correlation between individual polychronicity and performance presented distinct arguments. Although most studies supported [...] Read more.
Polychronicity refers to the preference of some individuals to structure their time in order to deal with multiple tasks simultaneously in a short period of time. Past research regarding the correlation between individual polychronicity and performance presented distinct arguments. Although most studies supported a positive correlation with performance, empirical findings showed inconsistent results, indicating the presence of other influencing factors. According to the person–environment fit theory and self-determination theory, the effect of polychronicity on job performance was verified and the mediation effect of well-being was tested in this study. Dual-mode questionnaires were collected from 532 subordinators and their direct supervisors in 98 chain restaurants and hierarchical regression analysis was performed to test the research hypotheses. The results showed that polychronicity positively affected well-being, that is, well-being was a full mediator between polychronicity and job performance. This study provides valuable insight for managers to understand employee polychronicity and, in turn, improve their well-being, which could help improve job performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Occupational Stress and Employees Complete Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Empirical Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3629; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17103629 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1931
Abstract
Given the shortcomings of previous research on occupational stress and mental health (e.g., predominantly in Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic (WEIRD) societies, based on the traditional mental health model and a lack of comparative studies), this study aimed to (a) examine the [...] Read more.
Given the shortcomings of previous research on occupational stress and mental health (e.g., predominantly in Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic (WEIRD) societies, based on the traditional mental health model and a lack of comparative studies), this study aimed to (a) examine the relationship between occupational stress and complete mental health among employees in Cabo Verde and China, and also explored the mediation and moderation roles of burnout and optimism in accounting for the empirical link. Mental health was defined as comprised of two distinguishable factors: positive and negative mental health. The Pearson correlation test, structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis, bootstrap analysis, hierarchical moderated regression and an independent t-test were used to analyze the data. The results indicated that, in both countries, occupational stress showed a negative relation to positive mental health and lower psychopathology symptoms—and job burnout mediated the relation between occupational stress and mental health. Optimism moderated the relation between occupational stress and burnout, but not the relation between occupational stress and complete mental health. The results are interpreted in light of the comparative framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Analysis of Stress Factors for Female Professors at Online Universities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2958; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082958 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1974
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to analyze the primary stress factors female professors at online universities are exposed to. The technique used for the prospective and exploratory analysis was the Delphi method. Two rounds of consultations were done with fourteen judges with [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the primary stress factors female professors at online universities are exposed to. The technique used for the prospective and exploratory analysis was the Delphi method. Two rounds of consultations were done with fourteen judges with broad experience in health and safety at work and university teaching who reached a consensus of opinion regarding a list of nine psychosocial risk factors. Among the most important risk factors, mental overload, time pressure, the lack of a schedule, and emotional exhaustion were highlighted. These risk factors are related to the usage and expansion of information and communication technology (ICT) and to the university system itself, which requires initiating more research in the future in order to develop the intervention programs needed to fortify the health of the affected teachers and protect them from stress and other psychosocial risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Mindfulness versus Physical Exercise: Effects of Two Recovery Strategies on Mental Health, Stress and Immunoglobulin A during Lunch Breaks. A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2839; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082839 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2249
Abstract
This research analyses the effects of mindfulness meditation (MM) and physical exercise (PE), practised as daily recovery activities during lunch breaks, on perceived stress, general mental health, and immunoglobin A (IgA). A three-armed randomized controlled trial with 94 employees was conducted for five [...] Read more.
This research analyses the effects of mindfulness meditation (MM) and physical exercise (PE), practised as daily recovery activities during lunch breaks, on perceived stress, general mental health, and immunoglobin A (IgA). A three-armed randomized controlled trial with 94 employees was conducted for five weeks including two follow-up sessions after one and six months. Daily practice lasted 30 min maximum. Perceived stress and general mental health questionnaires and saliva samples were used. There were significant differences in time factor comparing pre- and post-test of Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ) both for PE [Mdiff = 0.10, SE = 0.03, p = 0.03], and for MM [Mdiff = 0.09, SE = 0.03, p = 0.03]. Moreover, there were significant differences of interaction factor when comparing MM vs. PE in total score at pre-post [F = −2.62 (6, 168.84), p = 0.02, ω2 = 0.09], favoring PE with medium and high effect sizes. Regarding General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) variable, practicing MM showed significant effects in time factor compared to pre-Fup2. No significant differences were found for IgA. Thus, practicing both MM and PE as recovery strategies during lunch breaks could reduce perceived stress after five weeks of practice, with better results for PE. Moreover, practicing MM could improve mental health with effects for 6 months. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
The Roles of Individual and Psychosocial Factors in Predicting Quality of Life Among Working Women in Shanghai
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1751; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051751 - 07 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1105
Abstract
Working women are at a high risk of suffering from occupational stress and burnout, which can result in reducing Quality of Life (QoL). Guided by the QoL construct and Luban et al.’s conceptual framework, this study aimed to (a) investigate the roles of [...] Read more.
Working women are at a high risk of suffering from occupational stress and burnout, which can result in reducing Quality of Life (QoL). Guided by the QoL construct and Luban et al.’s conceptual framework, this study aimed to (a) investigate the roles of individual factors (i.e., age) and psychosocial factors (i.e., occupational stress, burnout) on QoL among working women, and (b) examine the age differences among study variables (young versus middle-aged groups). Participants were 375 working women (Mage = 42.06) recruited in Shanghai, China. They completed previously validated questionnaires assessing their occupational stress, burnout (emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced professional efficacy), and QoL (physical health, psychological health, social relationship, and living environment). Confirmatory factor analysis, Pearson product-moment correlation, hierarchical regressions, and factorial multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) were used to examine the relationships and differences between occupational stress, burnout, and QoL among working women. Correlation and regression analyses indicated that occupational stress and burnout were significantly associated with QoL among these participants. Two one-factor MANOVAs demonstrated that young-aged working women had higher occupational stress and burnout, but lower levels of QoL than middle-aged women. These results suggest that adopting specific coping strategies to reduce or prevent occupational stress and burnout are needed to improve QoL among working women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
Article
Burnout and Self-Perceived Instructional Competence: An Exploratory Study of a Group of Italian Female Elementary School Teachers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1356; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17041356 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Since the first half of the 1980s, burnout in teachers has been the object of particular attention by many international authors. Teachers are subject, more than other professions, to numerous and heavy pressures, covering the peculiarity of the profession. The objectives of the [...] Read more.
Since the first half of the 1980s, burnout in teachers has been the object of particular attention by many international authors. Teachers are subject, more than other professions, to numerous and heavy pressures, covering the peculiarity of the profession. The objectives of the present research are to measure the predictive role of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment on the quality of teaching in a group of elementary school teachers. We carried out a cross-sectional study involving 324 Sicilian female teachers, who worked in three school orders: Kindergarten, primary school, and the first year of middle school. Participants completed a socio-demographic questionnaire, the assessment teaching scale for primary school teachers (ECAD-EP), and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). In reference to the level of burnout, the correlation analysis underlined the presence of a positive correlation between: Emotional exhaustion and depersonalization; and a negative correlation between exhaustion and depersonalization. Furthermore, a predictive role of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment on the quality of teaching in a group of primary school teachers was found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
Article
Development of the Nurses’ Occupational Stressor Scale
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 649; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17020649 - 19 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2313
Abstract
Although nurses work in stressful environments, stressors in such environments have yet to be clearly assessed. This study aimed to develop a Nurses’ Occupational Stressor Scale (NOSS) with high reliability and validity. Candidate questions for the NOSS were generated by expert consensus following [...] Read more.
Although nurses work in stressful environments, stressors in such environments have yet to be clearly assessed. This study aimed to develop a Nurses’ Occupational Stressor Scale (NOSS) with high reliability and validity. Candidate questions for the NOSS were generated by expert consensus following focus group feedback, and were used to survey in 2013. A shorter version was then developed after examination for validity and reproducibility in 2014. The accuracy of the short version of the NOSS for predicting nurses’ stress levels was evaluated based on receiver operating characteristic curves to compare existing instruments for measuring stress outcomes, namely personal burnout, client-related burnout, job dissatisfaction, and intention to leave. Examination for validity and reproducibility yielded a shorter version of NOSS with only 21 items was considered sufficient for measuring stressors in nurses’ work environments. Nine subscales were included: (1) work demands, (2) work–family conflict, (3) insufficient support from coworkers or caregivers, (4) workplace violence and bullying, (5) organizational issues, (6) occupational hazards, (7) difficulty taking leave, (8) powerlessness, and (9) unmet basic physiological needs. The 21-item NOSS proved to have high concurrent and construct validity. The correlation coefficients of the subscales for test-retest reliability ranged from 0.71 to 0.83. The internal consistency (Cronbach’s α) coefficients ranged from 0.35 to 0.77. The NOSS exhibited accurate prediction of personal burnout, client-related burnout, job dissatisfaction, and intention to leave. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Straining at Work and Its Relationship with Personality Profiles and Individual Consequences in Healthcare Workers (HCWs)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 610; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17020610 - 17 Jan 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Straining is an attenuated form of mobbing, in which the continuity of vexatious actions is not driven by a discriminatory intent. With the objective of testing the possible moderating role of personality in the relationship between perceptions about straining at work and individual [...] Read more.
Straining is an attenuated form of mobbing, in which the continuity of vexatious actions is not driven by a discriminatory intent. With the objective of testing the possible moderating role of personality in the relationship between perceptions about straining at work and individual consequences, a correlational design research involved 374 healthcare workers (HCWs) from two Italian hospitals. The following questionnaires were administered: (1) Short Negative Acts Questionnaire (S-NAQ), to assess discriminative actions at work); (2) the Italian version of the Big Five Inventory (BFI-10 scale), to assess personality factors; (3) Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI), to measure psychological and physical health. Regression analysis and Structural Equation Models (SEM) were computed in order to test the relationships between variables. Perceived straining showed significant correlations with both psychological and physical health. Conscientiousness was inversely proportional to work-related bullying (WB), as agreeableness was to personal bullying (PB). Emotional stability was negatively correlated with all the three component scales of S-NAQ: WB, PB, and social bullying. The results seem to confirm that straining perceptions especially elicit, through emotional stability, psychological consequences. As regards the role of emotional stability in risk perceptions, it seems management has to pay thorough attention to personal factors in organizational perceptions and to straining actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Night-Time Shift Work and Related Stress Responses: A Study on Security Guards
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 562; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17020562 - 15 Jan 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
Work-related stress can induce a break in homeostasis by placing demands on the body that are met by the activation of two different systems, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system. Night-shift work alters the body’s exposure to the natural light–dark schedule [...] Read more.
Work-related stress can induce a break in homeostasis by placing demands on the body that are met by the activation of two different systems, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system. Night-shift work alters the body’s exposure to the natural light–dark schedule and disrupts circadian (daily) rhythms. The greatest effect of night-shift work is the disruption of circadian rhythms. The impact that these disruptions may have on the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cancer, is unknown. This study aims to discover the relationship among three different job activities of security guards and their stress-related responses by evaluating salivary cortisol levels and blood pressure. Methods: Ninety security guards, including night-time workers and night-time and daily-shift workers, were recruited for this study. Each security guard provided two saliva samples before and after three scheduled time points: (i) at 22:00, (ii) at 06:30, and (iii) at 14:00. Results: The results of the study showed a significant alteration in cortisol levels. Night-time shift cortisol levels significantly increased before and after the work shifts. A physiological prevalence of the vagal tone on the cardiocirculatory activity was found during night-shift work. Conclusions: This study indicates that cortisol levels and blood pressure are sensitive markers of biological responses to severe work stress. Shift-change consequences may occur at the end of the night shift when there is a significant increase in the cortisol level and a significant variation in cardiovascular parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Sickness Presence among Health Care Professionals: A Cross Sectional Study of Health Care Professionals in Slovenia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 367; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17010367 - 06 Jan 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1263
Abstract
Background and objectives: Presenteeism is a relatively new phenomenon that people, despite complaints and ill health that should prompt them to rest and take sick leave, go to work in any case. The highest sickness presence is largely to be found in the [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Presenteeism is a relatively new phenomenon that people, despite complaints and ill health that should prompt them to rest and take sick leave, go to work in any case. The highest sickness presence is largely to be found in the care and welfare and educational sectors. The aim of the study is to investigate the relations between different factors and sickness presence among health care professionals. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the largest hospital in Slovenia involving 5865 health care professionals employed at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana in the period between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2010. Logistic regression methods were used to assess the associations between risk factors and their interactions and sickness presence. Results: Besides high odds for sickness presence in multivariate modelling for acute (OR = 359.7; 95%CI = 89.1–1452.8) and chronic disease (OR = 722.5; 95%CI = 178.5–2924.5) the highest odds were calculated for poor self-related health (OR = 3.0; 95%CI = 1.9–4.8), no possibility of replacement (OR = 1.9; 95%CI = 1.5–2.3), sickness absence > two times a year (OR = 1.6; 95%CI = 1.2–2.1), disabled workers (OR = 1.6; 95%CI = 1.0–2.5), and lower salary when on sick leave (OR = 1.5; 95%CI = 120–1.9). Risk factors interactions were not found to be associated with sickness presence among health care workers. Conclusions: The pre-requisite for higher sickness presence is workers’ bad health. The results indicate that sickness presence was associated with psycho social risk factors at work and their economic consequences. Continued sickness presence might have negative rather than positive consequences on work and health care professionals’ health in the future. Sickness presence needs to be taken into account for health care organizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
Article
Association between Work-Related Stress and QT Prolongation in Male Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4781; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16234781 - 28 Nov 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1330
Abstract
Background: Work-related stress is a potential cardiovascular risk factor, but the underlying mechanism is not fully explained. The autonomic nervous system control of cardiac function might play a specific role; therefore, monitoring the QT interval in the electrocardiogram can highlight an autonomic imbalance [...] Read more.
Background: Work-related stress is a potential cardiovascular risk factor, but the underlying mechanism is not fully explained. The autonomic nervous system control of cardiac function might play a specific role; therefore, monitoring the QT interval in the electrocardiogram can highlight an autonomic imbalance induced by occupational stressors. The aim of our study was to explore the QT interval parameters as early indicators of imbalance of the autonomic cardiac function in relation to work-related stress. Methods: During 2015–2016 annual workplace health surveillance, we measured work-related stress in 484 workers of a logistic support company using the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) tool. We assessed the frequency-corrected QT (QTc) interval and the QT index (QTi) on the electrocardiogram of each participant, and collected demographic and clinical data. We compared the QTc values by the four Karasek’s categories (active/passive jobs, low/high strain job), and by job support (present/lacking), and conducted multivariate analysis to adjust for possible confounders. Results: The results of the multivariate regression analysis showed that QTc was prolonged among workers operating at a specific site where stress level was found to be elevated. Regular physical activity showed a beneficial effect against QTc prolongation. We did not observe an effect on QTc length by the cross-combined Karasek’s categories of job control, job demand, and job support. Conclusions: Our study suggests subclinical effects of conditions associated with work-related stress on the autonomic regulation of cardiac function. Further research is warranted to elucidate the combined effect of work organization and lifestyle factors on autonomic cardiac function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
Article
Mindfulness-Based IARA Model® Proves Effective to Reduce Stress and Anxiety in Health Care Professionals. A Six-Month Follow-Up Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4421; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16224421 - 12 Nov 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2070
Abstract
Changes in the health care environment, together with specific work-related stressors and the consequences on workers’ health and performance, have led to the implementation of prevention strategies. Among the different approaches, those which are mindfulness-based have been institutionally recommended with an indication provided [...] Read more.
Changes in the health care environment, together with specific work-related stressors and the consequences on workers’ health and performance, have led to the implementation of prevention strategies. Among the different approaches, those which are mindfulness-based have been institutionally recommended with an indication provided as to their effectiveness in the management of stress. The aim of the present study was to analyze the efficacy of the mindfulness-based IARA Model® (an Italian acronym translatable into meeting, compliance, responsibility, autonomy) in order to ameliorate perceived stress, anxiety and enhance emotional regulation among health care professionals (HCPs; i.e., doctors, nurses, and healthcare assistants). Four hundred and ninety-seven HCPs, 215 (57.2%) of which were women, were randomly assigned to a mindfulness-based training or control group and agreed to complete questionnaires on emotion regulation difficulties (DERS), anxiety, and perceived stress. Results showed that HCPs who attended the IARA training, compared to the control group, had better emotional regulation, anxiety and stress indices after 6 months from the end of the intervention. Furthermore, the results confirmed the positive relationship between emotional regulation, perceived stress and anxiety. The present study contributes to literature by extending the effectiveness of IARA in improving emotional regulation and well-being in non-clinical samples. Moreover, the study provides support for the idea that some specific emotional regulation processes can be implicated in perceived stress and anxiety. From the application point of view, companies should invest more in stress management intervention, monitoring and training, in order to develop worker skills, emotional self-awareness, and relational resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Work-Family Conflict in the European Union: The Impact of Organizational and Public Facilities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4419; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16224419 - 12 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
Today, as an increasing share of women and men is involved in both paid tasks at work and unpaid care tasks for children and other relatives, more people are at risk of work-family conflict, which can be a major threat to well-being and [...] Read more.
Today, as an increasing share of women and men is involved in both paid tasks at work and unpaid care tasks for children and other relatives, more people are at risk of work-family conflict, which can be a major threat to well-being and mental, but also physical health. Both organizations and governments invest in arrangements that are meant to support individuals in finding a balance between work and family life. The twofold goal of our article was to establish the level of work-family conflict in the member states of the European Union by gender and to analyze to what extent different arrangements at the organizational level as well the public level help to reduce this. Using the European Working Conditions Survey supplemented with macro-data on work-family facilities and the economic and emancipation climate in a country, we performed multilevel analyses. Our findings show that the intensity of work-family conflict does not vary widely in EU28. In most countries, men experience less work-family conflict than women, although the difference is small. Caring for children and providing informal care increases perceived work-life conflict. The relatively small country differences in work-family conflict show that different combinations of national facilities and organizational arrangements together can have the same impact on individuals; apparently, there are several ways to realize the same goal of work-family conflict reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Effort-Reward Imbalance and Job Strain: A Composite Indicator Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16214169 - 29 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
The Job Demand-Control-Support (JDC-S) and Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) models dominate psychosocial work environment research and practice, with their independent and collective contributions to employee health having been extensively demonstrated. Psychosocial risk assessment in the humanitarian aid sector is in its infancy, and there [...] Read more.
The Job Demand-Control-Support (JDC-S) and Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) models dominate psychosocial work environment research and practice, with their independent and collective contributions to employee health having been extensively demonstrated. Psychosocial risk assessment in the humanitarian aid sector is in its infancy, and there is a need to identify appropriate psychosocial work environment models to inform approaches to assessment. The aim of this study is to examine the efficacy of these models separately and in combination to identify psychological distress in humanitarian aid workers. Cross-sectional survey data were obtained from 283 humanitarian aid workers. Logistic regression analyses investigated the separate and combined ability of the models to identify psychological distress. More than half of the participant sample reported psychological distress, and one third reported high ERI and high job strain. When tested separately, each model was associated with a significantly elevated likelihood of psychological distress. When tested in combination, the two models offered a superior estimation of the likelihood of psychological distress than achieved by one model in isolation. Psychosocial risk assessment in the humanitarian aid sector encompassing the characteristics of both these leading psychosocial work environment models captures the breadth of relevant generic psychosocial work characteristics. These initial findings require corroboration through longitudinal research involving sector-representative samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
Article
Career Development Support, Job Adaptation, and Withdrawal Intention of Expatriates: A Multilevel Analysis of Environmental Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3880; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16203880 - 13 Oct 2019
Viewed by 1042
Abstract
The present study aims to explore the impact of career development support on job adaptation and withdrawal intention, and the multilevel moderating role of host country environmental factors. Through the questionnaire survey, we collected 242 expatriates’ data of 25 countries from China’s multinational [...] Read more.
The present study aims to explore the impact of career development support on job adaptation and withdrawal intention, and the multilevel moderating role of host country environmental factors. Through the questionnaire survey, we collected 242 expatriates’ data of 25 countries from China’s multinational corporations. Based on the constructed multilevel analysis model, we find: (1) career development support has a significant impact on job adaptation and withdrawal intention of expatriates; (2) job adaptation plays a mediating role between career development support and withdrawal intention; and (3) host country environment plays the multilevel moderating role between career development support and job adaptation. Through the multilevel model of host country environment, this study explores the mechanism of how career development support affects job adaptation and withdrawal intention. The conclusions enhance the understanding of the adaptation of expatriates and have important theoretical and practical reference value to achieve successful expatriate in the context of host country environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Article
Unequal Associations between Educational Attainment and Occupational Stress across Racial and Ethnic Groups
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3539; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16193539 - 21 Sep 2019
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 2463
Abstract
Background: Although other mechanisms are also involved, at least one reason high educational attainment (EA) is associated with better health is lower employment stress in individuals with high EA. Minorities’ Diminished Returns, however, refer to the smaller protective health effects of EA [...] Read more.
Background: Although other mechanisms are also involved, at least one reason high educational attainment (EA) is associated with better health is lower employment stress in individuals with high EA. Minorities’ Diminished Returns, however, refer to the smaller protective health effects of EA for racial- and ethnic-minority individuals, particularly African Americans (AAs) and Hispanics, as compared to Whites. We are, however, not aware of many studies that have explored differential associations between EA and work-related stress across racial and ethnic groups. Aims: We aimed to compare racial and ethnic groups for the association between EA and occupational stress in a national sample of American adults. Methods: The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS 2015), a cross-sectional survey, included 15,726 employed adults. Educational attainment was the independent variable. Occupational stress was the outcome. Race and ethnicity were the moderators. Age, gender, number of jobs, and years in the job were the covariates. Results: Overall, higher EA was associated with lower levels of occupational stress. Race and ethnicity both interacted with EA, suggesting that the association between high EA and reduced occupational stress is systemically smaller for AAs and Hispanics than it is for Whites. Conclusions: In the United States, race and ethnicity limit the health gains that follow EA. While EA helps individuals avoid environmental risk factors, such as occupational stress, this is more valid for non-Hispanic Whites than AAs and Hispanics. The result is additional physical and mental health risks in highly educated AAs and Hispanics. The results are important, given racial and ethnic minorities are the largest growing section of the US population. We should not assume that EA is similarly protective across all racial and ethnic groups. In this context, EA may increase, rather than reduce, health disparities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Influences of Blood Lactate Levels on Cognitive Domains and Physical Health during a Sports Stress. Brief Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9043; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17239043 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 819
Abstract
The present review aims to examine the effects of high blood lactate levels in healthy adult humans, for instance, after a period of exhaustive exercise, on the functioning of the cerebral cortex. In some of the examined studies, high blood lactate levels were [...] Read more.
The present review aims to examine the effects of high blood lactate levels in healthy adult humans, for instance, after a period of exhaustive exercise, on the functioning of the cerebral cortex. In some of the examined studies, high blood lactate levels were obtained not only through exhaustive exercise but also with an intravenous infusion of lactate while the subject was immobile. This allowed us to exclude the possibility that the observed post-exercise effects were nonspecific (e.g., cortical changes in temperature, acidity, etc.). We observed that, in both experimental conditions, high levels of blood lactate are associated with a worsening of important cognitive domains such as attention or working memory or stress, without gender differences. Moreover, in both experimental conditions, high levels of blood lactate are associated with an improvement of the primary motor area (M1) excitability. Outside the frontal lobe, the use of visual evoked potentials and somatosensory evoked potentials allowed us to observe, in the occipital and parietal lobe respectively, that high levels of blood lactate are associated with an amplitude’s increase and a latency’s reduction of the early components of the evoked responses. In conclusion, significant increases of blood lactate levels could exercise a double-action in the central nervous system (CNS), with a protecting role on primary cortical areas (such as M1, primary visual area, or primary somatosensory cortex), while reducing the efficiency of adjacent regions, such as the supplementary motor area (SMA) or prefrontal cortex. These observations are compatible with the possibility that lactate works in the brain not only as an energy substrate or an angiogenetic factor but also as a true neuromodulator, which can protect from stress. In this review, we will discuss the mechanisms and effects of lactic acid products produced during an anaerobic exercise lactate, focusing on their action at the level of the central nervous system with particular attention to the primary motor, the somatosensory evoked potentials, and the occipital and parietal lobe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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Review
Work-Related Stress, Physio-Pathological Mechanisms, and the Influence of Environmental Genetic Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 4031; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16204031 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
Work-related stress is a growing health problem in modern society. The stress response is characterized by numerous neurochemicals, neuroendocrine and immune modifications that involve various neurological systems and circuits, and regulation of the gene expression of the different receptors. In this regard, a [...] Read more.
Work-related stress is a growing health problem in modern society. The stress response is characterized by numerous neurochemicals, neuroendocrine and immune modifications that involve various neurological systems and circuits, and regulation of the gene expression of the different receptors. In this regard, a lot of research has focused the attention on the role played by the environment in influencing gene expression, which in turn can control the stress response. In particular, genetic factors can moderate the sensitivities of specific types of neural cells or circuits mediating the imprinting of the environment on different biological systems. In this current review, we wish to analyze systematic reviews and recent experimental research on the physio-pathological mechanisms that underline stress-related responses. In particular, we analyze the relationship between genetic and epigenetic factors in the stress response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress and Work)
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