Comparative Analysis of Chronic Versus Acute Stressors and Their Influence on Distress Consequences at Work
Description: Workplace stress has been found to be a causal agent of psychological distress consequences in employees. Chronic stressors have been well researched, in particular, role conflict, role ambiguity, and work overload have been extensively studied. A meta-analysis was conducted in order to aggregate past research to gain a better understanding of the impact these stressors have on the psychological distress consequences of depression, tension/anxiety, somatic complaints, and generalized feelings of stress. Only role ambiguity was found to be a significant contributor to psychological distress, in particular to feelings of depression and stress. In general, however, effect sizes for all three stressors were moderate to large. While chronic stressors have been well researched, acute stressors have been widely overlooked. Since research in this area is limited, the Daily Work Hassles Survey was developed and validated in order to analyze the role daily hassles play in the workplace. The survey yielded two factors, Interpersonal Hassles and Task Hassles. The former of which was found to be significantly related to the distress consequences of depression, tension/anxiety, somatic complaints, and general feelings of stress. The ultimate goal of this project was to compare chronic and acute stressors. Results from the daily hassles study were contrasted to the results of the aforementioned meta-analysis. It was found that the chronic stressors of role ambiguity, role conflict, and overload are significantly greater predictors of selected distress consequences than the acute factors of Interpersonal Hassles and Task Hassles. However, when somatic complaints was employed as the dependent variable, no significant differences were found between chronic and acute stressors.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Crawford, Julie Schwarz
Partner: UNT Libraries