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Models of stress at work

According to many authors (Lazarus & Follkman 1984; Winnubst, 1984), the development of psychological stress is related mainly to the work of three scientists: Cannon in 1932, Selye in 1936 and Wolff in 1953.

Cannon (1932), very interested in the physiology of emotions, stress considered as a disturbance of homeostasis in the individual subject to conditions.

In 1956, Selye Stress speaks in a fairly technical in the sense of a set of orchestrating the body’s defenses against any form of noxious stimulus, a response he called the “General Adaptation Syndrome” (GAS) .

Stress was not therefore environmental demand (it was actually called a “stressor”), but rather a set of universal physiological reactions and processes created by this application.
Wolff (1953) also deserves to be mentioned since it was with Selye, the forerunner of the current definitions of stress while emphasizing the dynamic nature of the stress state.

In 1966, Lazarus exceeds these definitions while emphasizing the relationship between the individual and his environment.
Applied to the workplace, stress is defined as “any characteristic of the work environment that poses a threat to the individual.”

Before the astonishing diversity of definitions of stress reported in the literature and in order to avoid any ambiguity, it is important to adopt a precise definition of stress at work.
Based on the literature described above, we chose ours based on the concept of control of work activity. In addition, we design stress as a process evolving over time and not as a static phenomenon.
We envision psychological stress in the sphere of work as a “worker’s response to the requirements of the position for which he may have the necessary resources, and which he considers to face. “.

Some authors have enumerated lists of working conditions could cause stress among workers (work overload, job insecurity, and role conflict), lists only based on empirical data, without reference a conceptual model. Other researchers have, for cons, a conceptual framework used to develop accurate theoretical models based on the elements they consider fundamental in the etiology of stress.

Generally, it should be noted that three models have dominated the scientific community over the last twenty years: the model of balance between the individual and the environment, commonly known in English literature the “PE fit model,” the model-call work called “JD-C model” Karasek and transactional model.

Models of job stress:

  • Model “P-E-FIT”

Model “EP-FIT” (Person-Environment Fit) means the model fit between the person and his environment. The basis of this theory is that the degree of fit between the individual and the workplace determines the degree of stress or tension experienced.
Two types of matching are considered:
-That between the results obtained in the work situation and needs, the intentions of the individual.
-That between the demands and requirements of the work situation and the skills and abilities of the worker.

The originality of this model is to consider the various possible interactions between the behavioral pattern of type A and B and that French and Harrison called a type environment A and B.
This approach recognizes three levels of influence: the environment (stressors), the individual and the context. According to this view in the middle of type A is a controllable environment in fast pace with significant challenges and encouraging independence.
In contrast to the work environment of type B is a medium routine at a moderate pace with some significant challenges and encouraging some autonomy.

This model postulates that if the requirements of the work situation of type A or B (agree to optimally behavioral pattern type A or B of the individual, will result in a match (congruence) between the individual and the workplace, lack of adequacy is the cause of the symptoms of stress.

The usefulness of the theory is limited to specify how work situations become stressful. Ignoring the role of environmental constraints, the model can not highlight the working conditions that cause stress. This model can only show that the perceptions of the individual acting as a “mediator” in the relationship between stressors and work environment stress. It does not test what specific characteristics of the work activity causes stress. This model is also criticized because it primarily assesses stress in terms of needs, values

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