Relationships between job stress and worker perceived responsibilities and job characteristics

Carolyn S Dewa, A. H. Thompson, P. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Few studies have examined the relationship between perceived responsibilities by workers and job characteristics and experiences of stress. Objective: To examine the relationship between job stress and work responsibilities and job characteristics. Methods: We analyzed data from 2737 adults who were labor force participants in the province of Alberta, Canada. A logistic regression model was employed to examine factors associated with high job stress. Results: About 18% of the studied workers considered their job as being "highly stressful." Workers who were male, did not consider their job a career or who were highly satisfied with their jobs were significantly less likely to identify their jobs as "highly stressful." The probability of describing a job as "highly stressful" significantly increased as workers perceived their actions have an affect on those around them or when their jobs required additional or variable hours. Conclusions: A number of factors are associated with experiencing high work stress including being more engaged with work. This is an important finding for employers, offering insight into where interventions may be targeted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Employment
  • Mental health
  • Psychology
  • Stress
  • Work
  • Workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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