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Research Companion to Organizational Health Psychology

Research Companion to Organizational Health Psychology

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper

This timely Research Companion is essential reading to advance the understanding of healthy behaviours within working environments and to identify problems which can be the cause of illness. Containing both theoretical and empirical contributions written by distinguished academics working in Europe, North America and Australia, the book covers leading edge topics ranging from current theories of stress, stress management, and stress in specific occupational groups, such as doctors and teachers, to the relationship of stress with well-being. It provides systematic approaches towards practical actions and stress interventions in working environments and a solid theoretical framework for future research. It will be an essential companion to research on psychology and medicine as well as stress.

Chapter 33: Proactive Coping, Resources and Burnout: Implications for Occupational Stress

Esther R. Greenglass

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


Esther R. Greenglass In recent years considerable research has focused on occupational stress. This is to be expected, given its deleterious effects. Stress on the job has been linked to a host of psychological and physical symptoms. For example, Spector (1987) reports significant positive correlations between excessive workload and anxiety, frustration and job dissatisfaction, as well as health symptoms. Work stress may also trigger anger feelings, which can result in higher levels of anxiety. The disruptive effects of stress can be seen as well in organizational functioning and in interpersonal relationships. Stress and burnout are major factors that have been linked to the development of both physical and psychological illness (McGrath et al., 1989). Burnout may be defined as a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that results from long-term involvement in work situations that are emotionally demanding (Maslach and Jackson, 1986). Burnout is also related to selfreported measures of personal distress (Belcastro and Gold, 1983; Greenglass, 1991; Greenglass et al., 1990; Schaufeli and Enzmann, 1998). Burnout in teachers correlates positively with depression, anxiety and somatization (Greenglass et al., 1990; Bakker et al., 2000). At the same time, individuals vary in their reactions to workplace distress. Research supports the idea that personal resources can affect people’s reactions to stress and burnout. Individuals who are affluent, healthy, capable and optimistic are resourceful and thus are less vulnerable to work stress. When confronting stress, perceived competence, labeled as perceived self-efficacy or optimistic self-beliefs, is...

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