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Occupational Stress and Health among Factory Workers

Publication Abstract

House, James S., James A. Wells, Lawrence R. Landerman, Anthony J. McMichael, and Berton H. Kaplan. 1980. "Occupational Stress and Health among Factory Workers." In Organizational Research edited by Katz, Daniel, Kahn, Robert L., Adams, J. Stacy. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

This study extends prior research on occupational stress and health by examining the cross-sectional association of 12 measures of perceived stress to five indicators of self-reported symptoms of ill health and five medical conditions in a population of blue-collar workers. Net of a variety of confounding factors, including exposure to noxious physical-chemical agents, perceived stress is consistently positively related to self-reported angina, ulcers, and neurotic symptoms and to medical evidence of hypertension and other heart disease risk factors. Perceived stress is also positively associated with self-reported respiratory and dermatological symptoms but only among workers who report exposure to potentially noxious physical-chemical agents. That is, stress seems to exacerbate the deleterious effects of such exposure. The results suggest that occupational stress may affect a wide range of workers and health outcomes. Limitations of the study indicate a need for future longitudinal studies with more medical data on health status and fuller assessment of environmental and genetic factors that may interact with stress in determining health.

ISBN: 00221465

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