New Perspectives on Stress and Coping in a Work-Related Context
Friday, May 23, 2014,
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM
Work-related stress is a major challenge in Western societies. This symposium aims at synthesizing new research and differing perspectives on development, symptoms and treatment of stress. The speakers discuss how collective and individual-oriented perspectives may benefit future developments in the enhancement of stress treatment and well-being at work.
subtitle: Organizational, social and individual factors in the development and treatment of work- related stress complaints – synthesizing evidence
In recent years there has been a growing interest in the area of work-related stress in European countries and work-related stress is considered a major cause of sickness absence in Western societies. During the same period out-patient clinics of occupational medicine in Denmark have experienced a rise in patients with work-related stress complaints. Many of these patients are also on sick leave due in part to maintaining factors like impaired sleep and cognitive problems in memory and concentration. The word stress may be defined as the subjective experience of demands or pressures that are not matched to the knowledge and abilities of the individual, thereby posing a threat to his or her well-being (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Additionally, according to Cohen et al., (1997), the stress process involves both stressors outside the individual as well as the psychological and physiological reactions within the individual. Whether or not the individual will feel stressed in a particular situation, according to Lazarus, is dependent on cognitive appraisals and coping mechanisms. Stress in the current context is therefore elicited and maintained by behaviours, cognitions, and perceptions of the individual as well as the characteristics of the work environment. The main purpose of this symposium is to draw attention to new research on the development and treatment of work-related stress complaints. Drawing on both qualitative and quantitative research, the aim is to synthesize evidence from two main perspectives. From a cultural and organizational perspective, the symposium will present new research on the impact of collective and social processes on appraisal and coping in the workplace. From a more individualized perspective, research on cognitive treatment of work-related stress complaints and research on the occurrence of cognitive impairments among these patients will be presented. What can we learn from these different perspectives on stress and work, and how may the shared knowledge between social/cultural- and individual- oriented research benefit future developments in the enhancement of stress treatment and well-being at work?