In this study, a series of focus groups were conducted to gain an understanding of the nature of stress among Canadian Aboriginal women and men living with diabetes. Specifically, attention was given to the meanings Aboriginal peoples with diabetes attach to their lived experiences of stress, and the major sources or causes of stress in their lives. The key common themes identified are concerned not only with health-related issues (i.e. physical stress of managing diabetes, psychological stress of managing diabetes, fears about the future, suffering the complications of diabetes, and financial aspects of living with diabetes), but also with marginal economic conditions (e.g. poverty, unemployment); trauma and violence (e.g. abuse, murder, suicide, missing children, bereavement); and cultural, historical, and political aspects linked to the identity of being Aboriginal (e.g. 'deep-rooted racism', identity problems). These themes are, in fact, acknowledged not as mutually exclusive, but as intertwined. Furthermore, the findings suggest that it is important to give attention to diversity in the Aboriginal population. Specifically, Métis-specific stressors, as well as female-specific stressors, were identified. An understanding of stress experienced by Aboriginal women and men with diabetes has important implications for policy and programme planning to help eliminate or reduce at-risk stress factors, prevent stress-related illnesses, and enhance their health and life quality.
This paper examines the relationship between the physical office environment and the psychological well-being of office workers. The results indicate that adverse environmental conditions, especially poor air quality, noise, ergonomic conditions, and lack of privacy, may effect worker satisfaction and mental health. The data also provide substantial evidence that worker assessments of the physical environment are distinct from their assessments of general working conditions, such as work load, decision-making latitude and relationships with other people at work. Stated another way, people who reported problems with the physical environment could not simply be characterized as dissatisfied workers exhibiting a tendency to 'complain' about every aspect of their working conditions. Taken together, these findings lend support to the position that the stress people experience at work may be due to a combination of factors, including the physical conditions under which they labor. Both theoretical and practical considerations arise from these data, including the need for work site based health promotion and stress reduction programs to consider both the physical and psychological design of jobs.
Minority women identify finances and maintaining cultural values as their most commonly experienced stressors at home and in the work-place. A before and after study of ethnic minority women in focus group sessions led by a trained ethnic minority facilitator examined how social and workplace supports, or lack thereof, impact on the individuals' ability to manage daily life. Creative, effective solutions to stressors were identified by the participants. Outcomes were evaluated in terms of the impact of changes on the participants' coping styles in family and work life. Results indicate that a large percentage of women in this study felt discriminated against based on their culture/race, however, this perceived discrimination decreased after the focus groups. The predominant stress management techniques were prayer and music. Family support was the most influential factor in decreasing stress. The family is a major source of support for the working women, acting as a buffer to workplace pressures.
This paper examines whether reported experience of racism by Aboriginal people living in Adelaide is negatively associated with mental health, and whether social resources ameliorate the mental health effects of racism.
Face-to-face structured and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 153 Aboriginal people. Data on self-reported experiences of racism (average regularity of racism across a number of settings, regular racism in at least one setting), social resources (socialising, group membership, social support, talking/expressing self about racism), health behaviours (smoking, alcohol), socio-demographic (age, gender, education, financial situation) and mental health (SF-12 measure) are reported. Separate staged linear regression models assessed the association between the two measures of racism and mental health, after accounting for socio-demographic characteristics and health behaviours. Social resource variables were added to these models to see if they attenuated any relationship between racism and mental health.
The two measures of racism were negatively associated with mental health after controlling for socioeconomic factors and health behaviours. These relationships remained after adding social resource measures. Non-smokers had better mental health, and mental health increased with positive assessments of financial situation.
Reducing racism should be a central strategy in improving mental health for Aboriginal people.
This study examines the associations between social position and mental health and explores whether differences in distress and depression by social position can be accounted for by differences in the major components of the stress process model. We extend previous work by including an ethnocultural measure alongside more traditional measures of social position.
Secondary data analysis of the 1994 National Population Health Survey.
Consistent with findings from studies of younger adults, mental health in later life is determined in part by age, gender, marital status, education, and ethnocultural factors. The data indicate that the life experiences connected to these social positions are largely responsible for these effects.
Our findings suggest that key social factors are related to mental health in late life, because one's position in the social structure shapes the stressors they encounter and the resources they have at their disposal to cope with them.
Work stress among physicians is a growing concern in various countries and has led to migration. We compared the working conditions and the work stress between a migrated population of German physicians in Sweden and a population of physicians based in Germany. Additionally, specific risk factors for work stress were examined country wise.
Using a cross-sectional design, 85 German physicians employed in Sweden were surveyed on working conditions and effort-reward imbalance and compared with corresponding data on 561 physicians working in Germany. Multiple linear regression analyses were applied on both populations separately to model the associations between working conditions and effort-reward ratio (ERR), adjusted for a priori confounders.
German physicians in Sweden had a significantly lower ERR than physicians in Germany: mean (M) = 0.47, standard deviation (SD) = 0.24 vs. M = 0.80, SD = 0.35. Physicians in Sweden worked on average 8 h less per week and reported higher work support and responsibility. Multivariate analyses showed in both populations a negative association between work support and the ERR (ß = -0.148, 95% CI -0.215 to (-0.081) for physicians in Sweden and ß = -0.174, 95% CI -0.240 to (-0.106) for physicians in Germany). Further significant associations with the ERR were found among physicians in Sweden for daily breaks (ß = -0.002, 95% CI -0.004 to (-0.001)) and among physicians in Germany for working hours per week (ß = 0.006, 95% CI 0.002-0.009).
Our findings show substantial differences in work stress and working conditions in favor of migrated German physicians in Sweden. To confirm our results and to explain demonstrated differences in physicians' work stress, longitudinal studies are recommended.