What is it about?

This study looks at how different kinds of work-related stress in the past can affect how people handle tough situations now, focusing on their emotional and physical health. We collected information from 134 employees about their work stress between April 2018 and November 2019. Then, during the first COVID-19 lockdown in March/April 2020, the same employees provided weekly reports for six weeks. Challenge stressors, which are seen as opportunities for growth, were linked to less emotional reactivity facing adversity during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, hindrance stressors, which are seen as obstacles to growth, were linked to higher affective reactivity and in turn to more emotional and physical strain in such situations. In short, the way people reacted to past work stress affected how they coped with challenges during the pandemic. This shows that work stress can have a lasting impact on how people handle difficulties in other areas of their life.

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Why is it important?

The study provides valuable insights into how different types of work-related stress experienced in the past can have a lasting impact on an individual's emotional and physical well-being during future challenging times. The findings could inform strategies within workplaces to help employees develop resilience. Understanding the nature of past stressors can aid in tailoring support systems and training programs to better equip employees to handle future challenges.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: How Past Work Stressors Influence Psychological Well-Being in the Face of Current Adversity: Affective Reactivity to Adversity as an Explanatory Mechanism, Journal of Business and Psychology, November 2023, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/s10869-023-09922-7.
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