230024 Relative effects of coping and occupational stressors on occupational injury, illness or assault

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lezah P. Brown-Ellington, PhD , Health Sciences Department/Safety Program, Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Kathleen Rospenda, PhD , College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown associations between high levels of psychological stress and strain on the job and occupational injuries and illnesses. Coping mechanisms, in the form of social support from coworkers, have been shown to moderate job stress. This research project explores the extent to which positive or negative coping mechanisms, including social support at the workplace or at home and problem drinking, predict occupational injury, illness, or assault (OIIAs) when controlling for the effect of perceived psychosocial stressors (workplace harassment and job pressure and threat) in the workplace, and the extent to which coping mechanisms interact with psychosocial variables in the prediction of OIIA in minority working populations. METHODS: Data were collected via a random-digit-dial telephone survey from 2003-2004. There were 2,151 study interviews conducted in English or Spanish. Statistical methods used included Cross Tabulation analyses with Pearson's Chi-Square, and logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Social support at work was associated with an increased risk of experiencing an OIIA, even after controlling for other psychosocial variables. Generalized Workplace Harassment and Job Pressure and Threat remained statistically significant predictors of OIIA once the coping mechanisms were added to the model. Interactions between coping mechanisms and psychosocial variables showed production/transportation workers at greatest risk of experiencing an OIIA when reporting high levels of social support at work. CONCLUSIONS: The coping mechanism of eliciting social support at work is significantly associated with OIIA beyond the effects of occupational psychosocial stressors, controlling for age, sex, racial and occupational groups.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. This presentation will describe how psychosocial stressors at work, and social support at work, are associated with occupational injuries, illnesses and assaults. 2. The results compare negative study occupational health outcomes between minority study populations and the White study population.

Keywords: Occupational Safety, Workplace Stressors

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I performed the data analysis and wrote my doctoral dissertation on this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.