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Exploring Interpersonal Dynamics

ISBN: 978-0-76231-153-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-306-8

ISSN: 1479-3555

Publication date: 30 December 2004


The nature of work has changed in the past 30 years but we do not know what these changes have meant for worker job stress. In this chapter we compare data from three surveys of the quality of work life from 1972 to 2002. At the most general level, work today is less stressful than it was in 1972. Workers report fewer job demands, more decision latitude, less job strain, more job security and greater access to job resources and job support. However, these changes have not affected all workers equally. Women, those with less education, non self-employed workers, blue collar workers and workers in manufacturing industries showed the greatest decreases in job stress although levels of job stress remain higher than for comparison groups (men, college educated, white collar, service workers). Changes were not always linear across time suggesting that some aspects of job strain are sensitive to economic cycles.


Tausig, M., Fenwick, R., Sauter, S.L., Murphy, L.R. and Graif, C. (2004), "THE CHANGING NATURE OF JOB STRESS: RISK AND RESOURCES", Perrewe, P.L. and Ganster, D.C. (Ed.) Exploring Interpersonal Dynamics (Research in Occupational Stress and Well Being, Vol. 4), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 93-126.



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