Stress and mental strain in hospital work: Exploring the relationship beyond personality

André Arsenault, Simon Landau Dolan, Marie Reine Van Ameringen

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33 Cites (Scopus)


This study focuses on the relationship between job stressors and mental strain in hospital work, adjusting for differences in personality traits. Questionnaires were obtained from 760 full-time employees. Fourteen scales of job stressors were clustered into four factors: professional latitude, clinical demands, workload problems and role difficulties. A mental strain index was derived from the addition of three sub-scales: depression, anxiety and irritation. Two personality traits were measured: Locus of Control (Rotter) and Striver-Achiever (Sales). The four job demand factors were dichotomized into high-low grouping variables. A 24 factorial analysis of covariance was conducted, using the two personality traits as covariates, in order to test and adjust for trait-related strain. Results show that Locus of Control adjusted differences in mental strain appear significantly related to work stressors. A direct relationship was found with role difficulties, professional latitude and workload problems. Moreover, high levels of role difficulties and low levels of professional latitude interact significantly with adjusted levels of mental strain. The Striver-Achiever trait, however, appears most strongly correlated with workload problems but not with mental strain. We believe that this exploratory analysis suggests that the stressor-strain relationship might be best conceived as a combination of direct and complex pathways, relating facets of both job demands and of personality with outcomes, under a cognitive and conditional paradigm.
Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)483-493
RevistaJournal of Organizational Behavior
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de maig 1991


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