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Work-Load, Perceived Control and Psychological Distress in Type A/B Industrial Workers

T. Kushnir and S. Melamed
Journal of Organizational Behavior
Vol. 12, No. 2 (Mar., 1991), pp. 155-168
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2488173
Page Count: 14
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Work-Load, Perceived Control and Psychological Distress in Type A/B Industrial Workers
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Abstract

The effects of work-load (WL) and perceived control (PC) on the psychological well-being of Type A and Type B industrial workers were studied using Karasek's Job Demands-Control model (1979). Subjects were 3562 male workers from 21 factories in Israel. Compared to Type B, Type As showed higher stress symptoms (irritability, somatic complaints, anxiety) but also higher job satisfaction. Contrary to our hypotheses, Type As were not more stressed under conditions of low load or low PC. These findings run counter to intuitive deductions based on the ambitious, hard-driving characteristics and control needs attributed to Type As. However there is some indication that a combination of low load and low PC (passive jobs) can be stressful for Type As, as indicated by high irritability scores. In addition, Type As were adversely affected by high load while Type Bs were not. Moreover, Type Bs reported high job satisfaction. Tests of Karasek's model revealed significant main effect for WL and PC on all dependent variables, but no interaction effects. Finally, incorporating Type A/B into the model indicated that the hypothesized high strain jobs combining high load and low PC proved to be stressful for Type As only.

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