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A review of organizational stress assessment instruments.

Jones JW; DuBois D
Stress management in work settings. Murphy LR, Schoenborn TF, eds. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 87-111, 1987 May; :47-66
Assessment instruments of organizational stress were reviewed and discussed. The cost of organizational stress was discussed. In this connection, it was noted that the total cost of work related accidents in the U.S. was 32 billion dollars in 1982. Stress was defined as the adverse emotional and physical reactions employees have to any source of pressure in their environment; a number of personal and organizational stress factors were listed. Methods for breaking the stress cycle included reduction of stress factors and increasing an individual's ability to cope with stress. The Human Factors Inventory (HFI), which is a 162 item organizational climate survey used by businesses to evaluate various forms of stress, was discussed in detail. The HFI contained six scales: job stress, job dissatisfaction, organizational stress, stressful life events, life and health risks, and accident risks. Each of the factors was discussed; it was noted that the test/retest reliability coefficients, determined with 1 week intervals, varied between 0.87 and 0.91 for the six scales. Guidelines for the interpretation of results were provided. The HFI was tested in several studies with different populations: college students, employees in one company, and hospital employees. Benefits resulting from the studies were evaluated. The Work Environment Scale, consisting of 90 items making up ten subscales, assessed three dimensions of organizational function: relationships, personal growth, and system maintenance and change. The Maslach Burnout Inventory was discussed as a measure of staff "burnout", a syndrome of cynicism and emotional exhaustion. The authors conclude that the first step in controlling stress related losses is an accurate assessment of employees' stress reactions and organizational stressors.
Emotional-stress; Questionnaires; Environmental-stress; Psychological-stress; Workplace-studies; Occupational-sociology; Job-stress; Occupational-health; Humans;
Publication Date
Document Type
Murphy LR; Schoenborn TF
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DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 87-111
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Stress management in work settings
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division