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An overview of organizational stress and health.

Hurrell JJ Jr.
Stress management in work settings. Murphy LR, Schoenborn TF, eds. Cincinnati, OH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Publication No. 87-111, 1987 May; :31-45
The concept of organizational stress and its association with health was reviewed. The intrapsychic process that translates objective events into stressful experiences was discussed, and it was emphasized that occupational stress studies were given a large impetus by the establishment of NIOSH in 1970. The history of occupational stress was discussed, and a model developed by psychologists at NIOSH was described. The most common occupational stress related diseases were hypertension, coronary heart diseases, alcoholism, and mental illness. The job stress model was described graphically and its components were discussed in detail. The job stressors such as job/task demands, organizational factors, and physical conditions were discussed in detail. It was noted that workload and shift work has received much attention and was generally thought to be a significant factor in the development of coronary conditions. Organizational factors such as participation in decision making was noted as a significant stress factor. Moderating factors such as individual personalities were discussed. A significant aspect of stress was the existence of the so called buffer factors, which are factors that tend to weaken stress reactions. Social support and the ability to cope with stress were discussed in this context. The author concludes that studies on stress management are important, and although most studies have focused on the individual, studies on stress in the work place are equally important and have so far received too little attention.
NIOSH-Author; Job-stress; Physical-stress; Occupational-sociology; Mental-stress; Occupational-health; Workplace-studies
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Murphy LR; Schoenborn TF
Fiscal Year
Source Name
Stress management in work settings
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division