• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Questions about the causes or sources of work stress have been the subject of considerable research, as well as public fascination, for several decades. Earlier interest in this issue focused on the question of whether some jobs are simply more inherently stressful than others. Other questions that soon emerged asked whether some individuals were more prone to stress than others. The Handbook of Work Stress focuses primarily on identifying the different sources of work stress across different contexts and individuals.   

Economic Stressors
Economic stressors
Tahira M.Probst

To do nothing may be to be nothing for many Americans.

Judge and Hulin (1993, p. 413)

In an era of record unemployment, massive layoffs, and a sluggish economy, many of today's workers face the economic stressors of unemployment, underemployment, and job insecurity. Although each of these three stressors is conceptually distinct, they do have similar antecedents and consequences associated with them. As the quote by Judge and Hulin above suggests, a person's job is one of the most important mechanisms through which he or she gains a sense of identity. Whether that job is threatened (as with job insecurity), compromised financially with respect to status (as with underemployment), or lost (as with unemployment), theory and empirical research overwhelmingly suggest that the resulting ...

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