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Flashcards in Stress at work Deck (12)
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How is stress commonly understood today?

More recently seen as an interaction between one's GENES and ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURES


What makes stressful life events stressful?

- High demands (hard to meet)

- Low control over one's fate (*think: Seligman's "learned helplessness" rat experiment - Rat B, who just got a shock when Rat A didn't turn the wheel fast enough, developed more stomach ulcers due to increased stress!)


What is the definition of "high job strain"?

High demands, low control (e.g. Assembly line worker)


What were the findings of the studies that investigated the link between high job strain and health?

Those with high job strain had worse health conditions (e.g. Hypertension, greater left ventricular mass)

- These results held true even after controlling for other risk factors, such as alcohol use, smoking, type A behavior...


What other aspects of work can contribute to high stress?

Effort-reward imbalance - High effort AND low reward


What were the main results of the study, "John Henryism, SES & Hypertension in Adult Blacks in Pitt Co., NC"?

(John Henry-ism: High ambition)

- Those with low JH and high SES had higher rates of hypertension.

- However, high SES was protective in those with high JH (i.e. High JH/ambitious individuals who were of high SES had lower rates of hypertension than their low SES counterparts)


What is the difference between job strain/effort-reward imbalance and stressful life events?

Stressful life events are mostly one-off stressors, while job strain/effort-reward imbalance impact our lives over a long period of time!


How does caring for a relative with Alzheimer's fit into the job strain/effort-reward imbalance model?

- Job strain (high demands, low control): Relative has little control over the prognosis of illness, but has to do a lot to take care of ill relative.

- Effort-reward imbalance: As illness worsens, efforts only increase as rewards decrease.


What were the main findings of the study, "Neighborhood Characteristics Moderate Effects of Caregiving on Plasma Glucose"?

- Neither caregiving nor adverse neighborhood conditions were singly related to impaired glucose metabolism
- It was the INTERACTION between caregiving and adverse neighborhood conditions (i.e. Fear of neighborhood conditions potentiated the effects of caregiving stress) that resulted in impaired glucose metabolism, and thus an increased risk of developing diabetes and CVD.

- This interaction demonstrates the importance of going beyond simple main effect hypotheses!


What are some of the latest findings with regards to job strain and health?

- WOMEN ONLY were twice as likely as men to develop type II diabetes when they were placed in high demands, low control AND low social support conditions (reason is unknown)

- Japanese men working at factories with no history of mental disorders: those with low Job Control were nearly four times more likely to have a sick leave >30 days due to depressive symptoms.


What are some of the new pressures present in today's society?

Working for longer hours ≠ higher ability to afford!

International competition means more stringent competition for services

Changes in the way we do business (downsizing, reorganization) affect our sense of job security

Rapid technological change - continuous progress is now necessary for survival!


What can be done?

- More insurance companies should cover healthcare costs

- Technological education - prepare students for competitive times ahead

- Stress management education