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Occupational Stress theories

They evolved from transnational stress theory
Work demand perceived by the individual
When stress was first defined, it was measured with stimulus and response. However, now, we are more concerned with the emotions of it. So stress theories is now about the “components to the stress transaction operating within a relational process.” (Lazarus 2001)

Person- Environment Fit
Described by French et al. (1982)
The relationship between P-E Fit (or misfit) and strain as u-shaped. LOW demands (underpaid) and high demands (Overworked) causes stress Right balance of stress is called eustress
This can be caused by increased demands (projects, tasks) can produce motivation and confidence It is believed
Demands–ability fit can also be important in terms of a person’s well-being. For instance, if person’s workload is high and they do not have the time or energy to perform what is expected from them, this can induce a high level of psychological strain

Warr’s Vitamin Model (1987)
Peter Warr originally created 9 key features of jobs which causes strain, then in 2005, updated it to 10 and these are referred as the ‘vitamin’ model 1. Opportunity for personal control
2. Opportunity for skill use
3. Externally generated goals
4. Variety
5. Environmental Clarity
6. Availability of Money
7. Physical security
8. Supportive supervision
9. Opportunity for interpersonal contact
10. Valued social position

It is a curvilinear model as too much of the above can cause negative affects
Job-Demands Control Model
Karasek’s model (1979) suggested two main components of work: Perceived levels of job demand AND job control -high validity
While one can impact highly on stress, together they can produce high-strain jobs (most stressful) While low demands and low control causes passivity and boredom Revision by Johnson and Hall (1988) acknowledges benefits of receiving balanced levels of perceived job support to relieve stress. Job-demands-control-support model = High demands, low support causes highest stress levels

P-E Fit Model
fundamental premise of P-E fit theory is that stress arises from misfit between the person and the environment discusses the factors affecting how a person relates to the workplace environment – e.g. through motivation, ability, etc. Characteristics of the person (P) include: needs, abilities, values Characteristics of the environment ( E ) include supplies and opportunities for meeting the employee’s needs and demands which are made on the employee’s abilities

Warr’s Vitamin Model
suggests that certain features in the workplace act in the same way as vitamins – the level and combination have an effect on well-being relationship between stressors and employee wellbeing
model claims non-linear relationships between work characteristics and individual outcomes Assumes two types of work characteristics
1. some features have a constant effect on the individual (neither beneficial nor detrimental effects) – e.g. slalary, safty and task significance 2. other work features have a curvilinear relationship (positive to a certain point, then every further increase has a negative effect) – job autonomy, social support, skill utilization

suggests that a specific amount of these characteristics are beneficial for the individual, however a very high level of these job characteristics creates a stressful situation – similar to negative effects of taking vitamins beyond the recommended dose

Job-Demands Control Model
job demands are the work load demands put on individuals
job decision latitude are the employee’s decision authority and his or her skill discretion (job control) Combine the two dimensions = 2×2 matrix of jobs
jobs low on demand and low on decision latitude = passive jobs jobs low on demands and high on decision latitude – low strain jobs jobs high on demand and low on decision latitude = high strain jobs MOST DETRIMENTAL FOR PEOPLE”S HEALTH AND WELLBEING jobs high on demands and high on decision latitude = active jobs

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