Reflections on the factor structure of the Occupational Stress Inventory-Revised
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Many studies have identified jobs or occupations where incumbents are most at risk of occupational stress, though stress appears endemic across the whole spectrum of work. The oft cited jobs whose members are most ’at risk’ include those of air traffic controllers, nurses and other health professionals, the police, those in management, teachers, and more. But trying to understand the factors involved that lead to the stressful outcomes, even when people are selected for their jobs on relevant criteria, remains a problem. A difficulty lies in the fact that findings from studies of the relationships between stress and well-being at work across different work groups are confused because different instruments are used to measure stress and well-being. Specially designed questionnaires for the particular work group are often cited as being necessary. This may well be the case for some aspects within given jobs. However, using different measuring instruments both clouds and compromises the ability to do cross-group comparisons. One measuring instrument, the Occupational Stress Inventory-Revised (OSI-R), shows promise for use across different occupational areas and if validated would thus allow comparisons on a common base of stress levels, strain experienced and the coping resources used across the various groups. Reflections on the OSI-R and its use in this way and its value for assessing factors associated with stress are given in this paper.
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