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NCJ Number: 67953 Find in a Library
Title: LONG-TERM WORK STRESS IN TEACHERS AND PRISON GUARDS
Journal: JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE  Volume:19  Issue:2  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1977)  Pages:133-138
Author(s): C M BRODSKY
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: FOCUSING ON TEACHERS AND PRISON GUARDS AS REPRESENTATIVES OF OCCUPATIONS THAT ARE STRESS-PRODUCING, THIS ARTICLE CONSIDERS THE WAYS THESE OCCUPATIONS PRODUCE LONG-TERM STRESS AND METHODS OF IMPROVING WORK ENVIRONMENTS.
Abstract: A GROUP OF 31 TEACHERS (16 FEMALE, 15 MALE) AND 21 PRISON GUARDS (3 FEMALE, 18 MALE) WAS SELECTED FROM OVER 1,200 PERSONS WHO HAD FILED INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT CLAIMS OR APPLIED FOR SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITY BENEFITS. ALL HAD PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS OF STRESS. EARLIER MEDICAL RECORDS AND THE RESULTS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS WERE STUDIED ALONG WITH REPORTS FROM EMPLOYERS, COWORKERS OR FAMILY MEMBERS. BECAUSE BOTH SCHOOL AND PRISON SITUATIONS ARE BECOMING MORE VOLATILE, THESE TEACHERS (PARTICULARLY WHITE TEACHERS) AND PRISON GUARDS ARE SUFFERING FROM CONFLICTS AMONG THEMSELVES AND WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OVER THE LACK OF SUPPORT FOR THE DIFFICULT POSITION THEY FACE IN IMPLEMENTING POLICIES TO WHICH THESE PROFESSIONALS ARE UNABLE TO ADAPT, POLICIES THAT IN MANY CASES WERE SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS, TO RENDER SCHOOLS AND PRISONS MORE SERVICEABLE TO SOCIETY. TEACHERS AND GUARDS SOMETIMES SERVED AS SCAPEGOATS WHEN THE POLICIES DID NOT SUCCEED, AND THIS CONTRIBUTED TO STRESS. THE DEVELOPMENT OF LONG-TERM STRESS FOLLOWS A SEQUENCE BEGINNING WITH AWARENESS OF CHANGE AND PROCEEDING THROUGH REALIZATION THAT THE WORK ENVIRONMENT HAS BECOME UNPLEASANT. ADMINISTRATIVE AND PERSONNEL CHANGES ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO THE GROWING TENSION. UNLIKE SHORT-TERM STRESS, WHICH IS A TEMPORARY CONDITION, LONG-TERM STRESS INVOLVES HAVING TO CONTEND WITH TENSION OVER A LONG AND OFTEN INDEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME. SYMPTOMS INCLUDE THOSE OF MUSCULOSKELETAL TENSION--HEADACHES, BACKACHES--AND SUCH GASTROINTESTINAL SYMPTOMS AS DIGESTIVE DIFFICULTIES AND LOSS OF APPETITE. SOME WORKERS ALSO DEVELOP CARDIOVASCULAR SYMPTOMS, VISUAL PROBLEMS, HYPOCHONDRIASIS, NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS, AND SEXUAL PROBLEMS. ALTHOUGH MANY WORKERS WHO SUFFER FROM STRESS-RELATED INJURIES ARE UNABLE TO FIND OTHER JOBS DUE TO SALARY CONSIDERATIONS AND OTHER FACTORS, NEW JOBS DO NOT NECESSARILY PROVIDE CESSATION OF THEIR DISCOMFORT. MANAGERIAL PRACTICES TO RELIEVE STRESS MAY INCLUDE THE PROVISION OF A SABBATICAL LEAVE AT REGULAR INTERVALS AND COUNSELING SESSIONS WITH COWORKERS. REFERENCES AND A TABLE ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress; Correctional Officers; Educators; Emotional disorders; Persons with physical disabilities; Work attitudes
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67953

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