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Chapter 11: Occupational Health

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Title: Chapter 11: Occupational Health


1
Chapter 11 Occupational Health
  • PSYC 352
  • October 21

2
Occupational Health
  • Occupational health Broad-based concept that
    refers to the mental, emotional, and physical
    wellbeing of employee in relation to the conduct
    of their work.
  • Work plays a critical role in ones identity,
    self-esteem, and psychological wellbeing.

3
Positive Psychology
  • Positive psychology The study of the factors
    and conditions in life that lead to pleasurable
    and satisfying outcomes for individuals.

4
Environmental Influences on Mental Health (1 of
3 Warr, 1987)
  • There are 9 determinants of psychological
    wellbeing
  • Opportunity for control
  • Opportunity to decide and act in ones chosen way
  • Potential to predict the consequences of action

5
Environmental Influences on Mental Health (2 of
3 Warr, 1987)
  • Opportunity for skill use
  • Those that prevent people from using skills they
    already possess
  • Restrictions on the acquisition of new skills
  • Externally generated goals or challenges
  • Environmental variety

6
Environmental Influences on Mental Health (3 of
3 Warr, 1987)
  • Environmental clarity
  • Feedback about actions
  • Clarity of role requirement
  • Availability of money
  • Physical security
  • Opportunity for interpersonal contact
  • Valued social position
  • Esteem
  • Role membership

7
The Components of Mental Health(1 of 4Warr,
1987)
  • There are 5 major components of mental health
  • Affective wellbeing
  • Pleasure
  • Arousal
  • Competence
  • A competent person has adequate psychological
    resources to deal with lifes pressures

8
The Components of Mental Health(2 of 4Warr,
1987)
  • Autonomy
  • The ability to resist environmental influences
    and determine ones own opinions/actions
  • Employees control of the timing and method of
    her/his work tasks (Turnbull, 1988)

I/O Across Cultures
Autonomy appears to be more important in
predicting wellbeing in Western cultures than
Eastern cultures.
9
The Components of Mental Health(3 of 4Warr,
1987)
  • Aspiration
  • Someone with high aspiration engages with the
    environment, establishes goals, and makes efforts
    to attain them.

High motivation Alertness to new
opportunities Commitment to meet personal
challenges
Aspiration
10
The Components of Mental Health(4 of 4Warr,
1987)
  • Integrated functioning
  • People who are integrated exhibit balance,
    harmony, and inner relatedness
  • 5 components work together to make up well-being
  • Affective well-being
  • Competence
  • Autonomy
  • Aspiration
  • Integrated Functioning

11
Work Stress (1 of 2)
  • Work stress The response to stimuli that are
    present on the job that lead to the negative
    consequences, physical or psychological, to the
    people who are exposed to them.
  • Stress symptoms can cause individuals suffering,
    significantly affect absenteeism and productivity
    levels within organizations.
  • Outcomes include lower levels of self-esteem, job
    satisfaction, and motivation as well as higher
    blood and cholesterol levels, depression, ulcers,
    and heart disease.

12
Work Stress (2 of 2)
  • 46 of American workers felt that their jobs were
    very or somewhat stressful.
  • 27 state that jobs were the single greatest
    source of stress in their lives.
  • In a survey of American managers, 88 reported
    elevated levels of stress.
  • Stress affects almost 1/3 of the European working
    population.

13
A Model of Stress (1 of 7 Kahn Byosiere, 1992)
  • Kahn and Byosieres (1992) model of stress
    conceptualizes stress in organizations in terms
    of 7 major categories.
  • Organizational antecedents to stress
  • Stress markers
  • Organizational characteristics
  • Size
  • Work schedule

14
A Model of Stress (2 of 7 Kahn Byosiere, 1992)
  • Stressors in organizational life
  • There are 2 major types of stressors

Ill health is related to monotonous work and
sustained vigilance
Task content
Strain
Psychological - Role ambiguity - Role
conflict - Role overload
Role Properties
15
A Model of Stress (3 of 7 Kahn Byosiere, 1992)
  • Perception and cognition
  • Helps explain why people react differently to
    stressors that are objectively the same.
  • Primary appraisal Initial determination that a
    stimulus is positive, negative, or neither in its
    implications for wellbeing.
  • Secondary appraisal Judgment about what can be
    done to minimize damage or maximize gain.

16
A Model of Stress (4 of 7 Kahn Byosiere, 1992)
  • Response to stress
  • Physiological e.g., cardiovascular symptoms
    (blood pressure, cholesterol level)
  • Psychological e.g., job dissatisfaction
  • Behavioral
  • Work role
  • Antisocial behavior at work
  • Flight from the job
  • Degradation of other roles
  • Self-damaging behavior

17
A Model of Stress (5 of 7 Kahn Byosiere, 1992)
  • Consequences of stress
  • The consequences of stress typically affect the
    performance of the individual on the job and in
    other life roles.
  • Health and illness
  • Organizational effectiveness
  • Performance in other life roles

18
A Model of Stress (6 of 7 Kahn Byosiere, 1992)
  • Properties of people as stress mediators
  • 2 personality characteristics mediate effects of
    stress stressor individual difference
    strain
  • Personality type
  • Type A Personality construct that describes
    individuals who tend to be aggressive and
    competitive and feel under chronic time
    pressures.
  • Type B Personality construct that describes
    individuals who tend not to be competitive,
    intense, or feel under chronic time pressures.
  • Locus of control Personality construct relating
    to the perceived cause or locus of control for
    events in ones life being either internal or
    external.

19
A Model of Stress (7 of 7 Kahn Byosiere, 1992)
  • Properties of situation as stress mediators
  • Situations buffer stress.
  • The primary situation factor is social support
  • Other situations can buffer against stress
  • Predictability, understandability, controllability

20
Prevention and Intervention
  • Organizational Level
  • Selection and placement
  • Training and education programs
  • Physical and environmental characteristics
  • Communication
  • Job redesign/restructuring
  • Individual/Organizational Level
  • Coworker support groups
  • Role issues
  • Participation and autonomy

21
Prevention and Intervention
  • Individual Level
  • Relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Biofeedback
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Exercise
  • Time management
  • Employee assistance programs

22
Is Stress Always Bad (1 of 2)?
  • Certain job demands that, although pressure-laden
    and stressful, are viewed as rewarding work
    experiences.
  • McCauley and colleagues labeled these job demands
    challenges (e.g., job overload, time pressures,
    and high levels of responsibility)
  • Managers' reports that challenging job demands or
    work circumstances produce positive feelings,
    even though they may be stressful.
  • This is consistent with the theoretical
    distinction that has been made in the general
    stress literature between eustress and distress.

Source Cavanaugh, M. A., Boswell, W. R.,
Roehling, M. V., Boudreau, J. W. (2000). An
empirical examination of self-reported work
stress among US managers. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 85, 65-74.
23
Is Stress Always Bad (2 of 2)?
  • Challenge Stressors
  • The number of projects and or assignments I have.
  • The amount of time I spend at work.
  • The volume of work that must be accomplished in
    the allotted time.
  • Time pressures I experience.
  • The amount of responsibility I have.
  • The scope of responsibility my position entails.
  • Hindrance Stressors
  • The degree to which politics rather than
    performance affects organizational decisions.
  • The inability to clearly understand what is
    expected of me on the job.
  • The amount of red tape I need to go through to
    get my job done.
  • The lack of job security I have.
  • The degree to which my career seems stalled.

Source Cavanaugh, M. A., Boswell, W. R.,
Roehling, M. V., Boudreau, J. W. (2000). An
empirical examination of self-reported work
stress among US managers. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 85, 65-74.
24
Work-Family Conflict (1 of 6)
  • Changes in the workforce and in the family domain
    have renewed interest in the study of work-family
    conflict.

Family-related changes Increased role for
fathers Widespread maternal
employment Greater life expectancy
Macro level changes Methods of
production Increased technological
sophistication Widespread downsizing
Changes in the psychological experience of
work Role overload Contingent work Job
Insecurity Self-employment, working from
home Skills Financial strain
25
Work-Family Conflict (2 of 6)
  • 3 Targets of Research in WFC (Zedeck, 1992)
  • Effects of work on family
  • Effects of family on work
  • Family-work interaction

26
Work-Family Conflict (3 of 6)
  • 3 Models of WFC
  • Spillover Model similarity between what occurs
    in the work and family environments
  • Spillover between work and family can be negative
    or positive (Zedeck Mosier, 1990)
  • Compensation Model inverse relationship between
    work and family
  • Segmentation Model work and nonwork spheres are
    distinct

27
Work-Family Conflict (4 of 6)
  • Gender Differences in WFC (Kossek Ozeki, 1998)
  • Correlation between WFC and job satisfaction
    -.35 for women, -.29 for men
  • Correlation between WFC and life satisfaction
    -.42 for women, -.32 for men
  • Mental Health and WFC (Frone, 2000)
  • EEs who experience WFC were 30 times more likely
    to experience mental health problems.

28
Work-Family Conflict (5 of 6) Why Study WFC?
In a meta-analysis on the consequences of WF
conflict, Allen, Herst, Bruck, and Sutton (2000)
reported that WF conflict was related to
Life satisfaction (-.28) Marital satisfaction
(-.23) Family satisfaction (-.17) General
psychological health (.29) Physical symptoms
(.29) Depression (.32) Job burnout (.42) Alcohol
use (.17)
Distress (.41) Family distress (.31) Job sat
(.-24) Career satisfaction (-.04) Org commitment
(-.23) Turnover intentions (.29) Absenteeism
(-.02) Job performance (-.12)
29
Work-Family Conflict (6 of 6)
  • Family-Friendly Policies
  • On-site child care centers
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (1993)
  • Employees can withdraw from the workforce to
    attend to family needs without risking the loss
    of their jobs
  • Workers get up to 12 weeks unpaid leave each year
    for the birth, adoption, or foster care of a
    child care for a spouse, parent or child with
    health condition or employees own health
    condition.
  • The FMLA covers private employers with 50 or more
    employees.

30
Dual-Career Families (1 of 2)
  • Rapoport and Rapoport (1969) first proposed the
    term dual-career family in the late 1960s, when
    more and more women were entering the workplace.
    They originally described a dual-career family as
    both husband and wife pursue careers and at
    the same time establish a family life with at
    least one child (p. 1).

Dual-Career Marriage Married couple in which both
spouses are employed but the main purpose of one
or both of the jobs is to establish and maintain
a career.
Dual-Earner Marriage Married couple in which both
spouses are employed but the main purpose of one
or both of the jobs is to produce income.
Vs.
31
Dual-Career Families (2 of 2)
  • Approximately 60 married couples are
    dual-earners
  • Only 17 of families conform to the 50s model of
    the working dad and stay-at-home mom
  • More women adjust careers for families
  • Mothers with young children work 77 hours/weed in
    the home, on average
  • There is a differential in division of labor
    between spouses

32
Work Schedules Shift Work
  • Shift work the period of time a person must
    perform her/his hob usually an 8-hour period.
  • Set vs. rotating shifts
  • Problems associated with shift work
  • Physiological
  • Social
  • Shift workers are more likely to quit

33
Work Schedules Flextime
  • Flextime a schedule of work hours that permits
    employees flexibility in when they arrive at and
    leave work.
  • 73 of US employers offer flextime
  • Lateness is virtually eliminated
  • Findings are positive

34
Work Schedules Compressed Workweek
  • Compressed work week a schedule of work hours
    that typically involves more hours per day and
    fewer days per week.

Advantages More time for recreation Chance to
work 2nd job More time with family Less company
overhead
Disadvantages Worker fatigue Fewer productive
hours More accidents
35
Substance Abuse and Work (1 of 4)
  • Substance Abuse the ingestion of a broad array
    of substances (such as alcohol, tobacco, or
    drugs) that are deemed to have a harmful effect
    on the individual.
  • Statistics
  • ADA considers former drug use a disability
  • Performance impairment
  • Economic issues
  • Societal costs

36
Substance Abuse and Work (2 of 4)
  • Critics view of drug screening
  • Screening violates individuals right to privacy
  • Tests are frequently inaccurate
  • Most support drug testing in jobs where public
    safety is crucial (e.g., nuclear power plant
    operators)
  • Postal Services found that 6 months after drug
    testing had occurred, workers who had tested
    positive prior to employment were absent 41 more
    and fired 38 more than those who were not
    positive (Wessel, 1989).

37
Substance Abuse and Work (3 of 4)
  • Is drug screening legal?
  • In 1989, the Supreme Court upheld the rulings
  • The constitutionality of the government
    regulations that require railroad crews involved
    in accidents to submit to prompt urinalysis and
    blood tests.
  • Urine tests for US customs service employees
    seeking drug-enforcement posts.

38
Substance Abuse and Work (4 of 4)
  • To avoid legal challenges, an employer should
  • Inform all employees and job applicants of drug
    use policy
  • Include drug policy in employment contracts
  • Present the program in a medical and safety
    context
  • If drug screening is used with employees, tell
    employees in advance that it will be part of
    employment

39
Unemployment (1 of 3)
  • Employment has intended and unintended
    consequences
  • Intended Earning a living
  • Unintended
  • Imposed time structure
  • Regular interactions with people
  • Linking of goals to purposes
  • Status and identity
  • Enforcement of activity

40
Unemployment (2 of 3)
Opportunity for control Opportunity for skill
use Externally generated goals or challenges
Environmental variety Environmental clarity
Availability of money Physical security
Opportunity for interpersonal contact Valued
social position
9 environmental factors needed for mental health
Intended and unintended consequences of
unemployment
Negative effect on well-being
41
Unemployment (3 of 3)
  • Relationship between unemployment and mental
    well-being

Gaining employment
Improved well-being
r .54
Losing employment
Decreased well-being
r .36
42
Child Labor and Exploitation
  • Child Labor economic activities carried out by a
    person less than 15 years of age.
  • Not common in US
  • Not rare in other countries (250 million children
    worldwide)
  • Harmful because it interferes with healthy
    development (physical and psychological)
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