Chapter 5 Stress
Stress is defined as a psychological response to demands when there is something
at stake for the individual, and when coping with these demands would tax or
exceed the individual’s capacity or resources.
Stressors are the demands that cause the stress response.
Strains are the negative consequences that occur when demands tax or
exceed a person’s capacity or resources.
The definition of stress illustrates that it depends on both the nature of the
demand and the person who confronts it.
WHY ARE SOME EMPLOYEES MORE “STRESSED” THAN OTHERS?
Transactional theory of stress explains how stressors are perceived and
appraised, as well as how people respond to those perceptions and
Primary appraisal occurs as people evaluate the significance and the
meaning of the stressors they are confronting.
Job demands that tend not to be appraised as stressful are called benign job
TYPES OF STRESSORS
Hindrance stressors are stressors that tend to be appraised as thwarting
progress toward growth and achievement.
o Tend to trigger negative emotions such as anger and anxiety.
Challenge stressors are stressors that tend to be appraised as opportunities
for growth and achievement.
o Tend to trigger positive emotions such as pride and enthusiasm.
WORK HINDRANCE STRESSORS
Role conflict refers to conflicting expectations that other people may have
Role ambiguity refers to the lack of information regarding what needs to be
done in a role, as well as unpredictable regarding the consequences of
performance in that role.
Role overload occurs when the number of demanding roles a person holds
is so high that a person simply cannot perform some or all of the roles very
Daily hassles reflect the relatively minor day-to-day demands that get in the
way of accomplishing the things that we really want to accomplish. WORK CHALLENGE STRESSORS
Time pressure is the sense that the amount of time allotted to do a job is not
Work complexity refers to the degree to which the requirements of the
work, in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities, tax or exceed the
capabilities of the person who is responsible for performing the work.
Work responsibility refers to the nature of the obligations that a person has
NON-WORK HINDRANCE STRESSORS
Work-family conflict is a special form of role conflict in which the demands
of a work role hinder the fulfillment of the demands in a family role.
Negative life events are events such as a divorce or death of a family
member that tend to be appraised as a hindrance.
Financial uncertainty is the uncertainties with regard to the potential for
loss of livelihood, savings, or the ability to pay expenses.
NON-WORK CHALLENGE STRESSORS
Family time demands reflect the time that a person commits to participate
in an array of family activities and responsibilities.
Personal development includes participation in activities outside of work
that foster growth and learning.
Positive life events are events such as marriage, or the birth of a child that
tend to be appraised as a challenge.
HOW DO PEOPLE COPE WITH STRESSORS?
Secondary appraisal: when people determine how to cope with the various
stressors they face.
o Coping refers to the behaviours and thoughts people use to manage
both the stressful demands they face and the emotions associated
with those stressful demands.
Coping can involve many different types of activities, and these activities can be
grouped into four broad categories based on two dimensions:
Problem-focused coping: behaviours and cognitions of an individual
intended to manage the stressful situation itself.
o Meeting the demand, rather than avoiding it.
Emotion-focused coping: behaviours and cognitions of an individual
intended to help manage emotional reactions to the stressful demands
Behavioural coping: physical activities used to deal with a stressful situation.
o Working harder o Venting
o Seeking assistance o Seeking support
o Acquiring additional resources o Alternate activities
Cognitive coping: thoughts used to deal with a stressful situation.
o Strategizing o Avoiding/ignoring
o Self-motivation o NegativePositive
o Changing priorities o Reappraising The choice of a coping strategy has important implications for how effective
people can meet or adapt to the different stressors they face
Factors that influence a choice of coping strategy: