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Chapter 11

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Psychology 2660A/B
Natalie J Allen

Chapter 11: Workplace psychological health The origins of thrkplace psychological health  Early 20 century – no one cared about the emotions of a worker  By the 1930s – mental hygiene emerged  Workplace psychological health – a broad based concept that refers to the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of employees in relation to the conduct of their work  It took approx 100 years to reach the conclusion that a productive workforce depends on the health of the workforce  Occupational health and safety act (Australia)  Health and safety at work act (UK)  Occupational safety and health act (US)  State of well being – “flourishing” in life, being inspired to learn, to be reasonably independent, and possessing self-confidence  It is advantageous to have both employers and employees contribute to fostering workplace psychological health because health care costs so much  Affordable care act – increases the scope of health care to US residents  Karoshi – in Japanese = death by overwork Balancing work and non-work  The intrinsic value of work is the value an individual finds in performing the work itself  The instrumental value of work is in providing the necessities of life and serving as a channel for the individual’s talents, abilities, and knowledge  Positive psychology – study of the factors and conditions in life that lead to pleasurable outcomes  Happy people are successful across many life domains: marriage, friendship, income, work, health  Positive affect may be the underlying cause of the desirable human qualities and experiences associated with happiness Environmental influenced on psychological health  Nine environmental determinants of psychological health 1. Opportunity for control – personal control over one’s life is associated with better psychological health a. Opportunity to choose your own behaviour b. Understanding the relationship between your behaviour and the consequences that follow from it 2. Opportunity for skill use – capacity of the environment to facilitate or slow down skill use 3. Externally generated goals – opportunity to create challenges and set goals 4. Environmental variety – benefits associated with an environment that provides choices / variety 5. Environmental clarity – degree to which it is clear what the environment demands of the individual 6. Availability of money – absence of money increases chance of psych/physical/emotional impairment by decreasing amt of control and # of choices one has in life 7. Physical security – freedom from harm, sleeping, eating – basics of life must be secure 8. Opportunity for interpersonal contact – experiencing positive relationships with others 9. Valued social position – self esteem derived from the value placed on the contributions they make to society  Poor psychological health when released form prison because prison environments do not provide any of these 9 determinants – this is the cause of recidivism (pattern of exconvicts committing new crimes and being sentenced to additional prison terms) The concept of psychological health  Five major components of psychological health 1. Affective well-being – combination of pleasure and activation dimensions result in…  Enthusiasm (+p, +a)  Comfort (+p, -a)  Anxiety (-p, +a)  Depression (-p, -a) 2. Competence – being competent allows for adequate psychological resources to deal with life’s problems 3. Autonomy – freedom to choose the path of one’s own behaviour 4. Aspiration – psychological healthy people are always striving to achieve a more desirable outcome 5. Integrated functioning – concerns the person as a whole – it’s the hallmark of psychologically healthy people in that they have found a way to balance love and work; most difficult to achieve  Affective well being – deals with medical criteria  Competence, autonomy, aspiration – related to the environment  Integrated functioning – multiple relationships among the 4 components and covers broader issues Work/family conflict  Work/family conflict – the dilemma of trying to balance the conflicting demand of work and family responsibilities  This increases the potential for conflict and stress  Workplaces are governed by rules and institutionalized procedures that provide mechanisms for control  Family life can be unstructured and less controllable, thus enhancing the appeal of the workplace  Study based on 3 cultures: anglo, china, and latin America o Average hours worked per week by managers in the three cultures were similar o Anglos may view working extra hours as taking away from their families, which may create feelings of guilt and more work/family conflict  Three topics as targets of research in work/family conflict o The effect of work on family o The effect of family on work o The family-work interaction  Three basic types of models to explain the relationship between work and family o Spillover model – asserts that there is similarity between what occurs in the work environment and what occurs in the family environment; one’s work satisfaction enhances family life o Compensation model – proposes an inverse relationship between work and family o Segmentation model – proposes that the work and nonwork spheres are distinct so that an individual can be successful in one without any influence on the other  Today there is considerable empirical evidence attesting to the overlap between work and family for most individuals  One basis for the appeal of flexible work hours and increased vacation time is they may reduce feelings of guilt among people incurring work/family conflict  Reactions to work and nonwork are not totally stable but vary over time and conditions  Stronger correlation between work/family conflict and job satisfaction than for men o Same with w/f conflict and life satisfaction o Women have a greater association than men between resolving w/f conflict and feeling satisfaction  Families with children experienced a stronger negative relationship between hours of work per week and family satisfaction  Employees who reported experiencing w/f conflict were up to 30x more likely to experience a clinically significant psychological health problem  Greater conflict was found in occupations that require substantial interactions between people to accomplish work (doctors, firefighters, police officers) – more than bank tellers, etc  Organizational initiatives to reduce work/family conflict: o Flexible work hours, compressed work weeks, working at home, leaves of absence, on-site or near-site child care centers o These were based on the needs of employees in western cultures though Flexible work arrangements  Allows individuals more discretionary control regarding when and where work is performed  Offers temporal flexibility (when work is done) and spatial flexibility (where work is done)  Kellogg Company converted from three 8-hour shifts to four 6-hour shifts; result… o Employee morale increased o Less industrial accidents o Increased work productivity  Teleworker – a person who works outside of a traditional physical location using electronic technology  Flexplace – any location where work can be performed; home, café, on vacation  Teleworking produced social isolation from other employees and supervisors  Non-traditional work arrangements include flextime, compressed work weeks, and shift work:  Flexible working hours o Flextime – a schedule of work that permits employees flexibility in when they arrive and leave work o Everyone must be present during certain designated hours (“coretime”), but there is latitude in other ho
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