Handbook of Stress in the Occupations
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Handbook of Stress in the Occupations

Edited by Janice Langan-Fox and Cary Cooper

The Handbook of Stress in the Occupations sets a new agenda for stress research and gives fresh impetus to scholars who wish to focus on issues and problems associated with specific jobs, some of which have received little attention in the past.
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Chapter 23: Work in Nonprofit Organizations – The Effects on Worker Health

Agnieszka Kosny


Agnieszka Kosny Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) play an important role in the provision of health and social services. They are important to the economies of many industrialized nations. In Canada, the nonprofit sector (NPS) includes 7.5 million volunteers and employs over 1.6 million paid workers (Canadian Centre for Canadian Policy Research Networks, 1998). It is estimated that the NPS is growing yearly (Hall & Banting, 2002) and contributes between 4 and 10 percent to Canada’s GDP (Day & Devlin, 1997). In the USA there are approximately 1.4 million NPOs registered with the IRS (Inland Revenue Service); human service organizations account for the greatest number of these NPOs. The UK has about 169 000 NPOs and the sector has increased in size substantially over the last ten years (Daly, 2006). In Australia, there are approximately 700 000 NPOs. The sector employs 604 000 paid employees and many more volunteers. It contributes about 3.3 percent to Australia’s GDP (Jansson et al., 2002). The NPS is overwhelmingly female-dominated. While women comprise just under half of the workforce in for-profit firms, they make up approximately three-quarters of the nonprofit workforce. When considering just health, education and social services in the NPS, women account for over 80 percent of workers (McMullen & Schellenberg, 2002). In many developed countries an aging population, an increase in single-parent families, reductions of social assistance rates and growth in the number of new immigrants have increased the need for services provided by NPOs (Canadian Centre for Canadian Policy Research Networks, 1998). Since services are...

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