Job Stress And Poor Mental Health as a predictor of somatization among workers

International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 8, August2016 1709
ISSN 22295518
IJSER © 2016
http://www.ijser.org
Job Stress And Poor Mental Health as a predictor
of somatization among workers
*Syeda Ayat-e-Zainab Ali, Tamkeen Saleem, Rabab Mahwish Khan, Huda Munawar
AbstractFor centuries Job Stress and poor mental health is a common evil phenomenon that has been a part of human history. The
current study was conducted to determine the impact of job stress, poor mental health on somatization among workers. Universe of the
study comprised of three hundred workers selected from different departments of occupational sector of wah cantt and Haripur, Pakistan.
Data was collected using structured questionaire such as occupational Role Questionaire, MHI38 and Bradford Somatic inventory.
Statistical Package for social sciences used to test the hypothesis. Results of multiple regression analysis reveal that two predictors
significantly predicted somatization; job stress predicted somatization as did poor mental health. The results have been discussed in the
light of cultural perspective and implications for future research.
Keywords Job Stress, Poor Mental Health, Somatization, MHI (Mental Health Inventory), Pakistan
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1 INTRODUCTION
Adam smith categorized humans as source of capital back in
1776. In 1960, the term Human Capital was invented by econ-
omist Theodore Schultz. Later studies expounded that people
working in businesses and organizations are actually an im-
portant asset for the firm because they contribute to growth
and development in exactly the same manner as physical as-
sets (for example money, machines etc.) do. They contribute in
the productivity and performance of the organization through
their collective abilities, skills and attitudes. Hence if the or-
ganization incurs any expenditure on its employees, it is clear-
ly an investment not an expense (Reder & Becker, 1967).
Stress is somehow a very broad and confusing concept (Mo-
towidlo, Packard & Manning, 1986). Many authors do not
have a consensus on the definition of stress. It was first
brought up by Selye (1950) in fifties and since then was em-
ployed at various occasions and in many ways (Amato &
Zijlstra, 2003). However this usage was without the clear spe-
cification of what it actually means. Therefore most of the
times it is considered as an umbrella concept, which means it
is an unspecific, very general and vague concept that indicates
an area of research where the study has been done on various
topics i.e. dissatisfaction at work, physiological changes, men-
tal health issues, sexual issues, absenteeism, violence and even
accidents (van Dierendonck, Schaufeli & Buunk, 2001).
Some schools of thoughts in literature like Myung Choi (2013)
claim that stress is known to be a biological, psychological or
behavioral response towards the mental and physical stimuli
occurring in the body of the individual. Work stress in a prop-
er amount seems to enhance job motivation and yield (Choi,
Park, Yoo, & Kim, 2013).
Health issues in relation to work have augmented for both
males and females in all states specially the industrialized
ones. According to the Effort Reward Imbalance Model
(Siegrist, 1995) higher level of commitment and low rewards
cause the occupational stress and the imbalance in turn, is a
high risk factor for mental ill health, which then contributes in
the development of somatization (Roesler, Jacobi & Rau, 2006;
Salavecz et al., 2009). Relatively very less is acknowledged
about the association between work stress and mental illnesses
and somatization. The surprising thing is that since the last
few decades it is seen that mental disorder rate is increasing
with high speed and the importance of such disorders is also
rising for morbidity.
According to Hettema, Neale & Kendler (2001), the school of
hereditary epidemiology tells that along with the genetic fac-
tors, there are also other factors that develop anxiety such as
environmental factors and interaction with the environment.
These factors also predict depression and other cerebral dis-
orders (Hettema, Neale & Kendler, 2001; Sullivan, Neale &
Kendler, 2000). Accordingly the matter that comes to mind
here is that do work related risk factors are also among the
reasons for developing mental disorders. It has been con-
cluded by researchers that work related stress or occupational
stress leads to depressive symptoms in many different occupa-
tions.
Authors also argue that increasing demands of job and job
insecurity have adverse effects on the workers (Tennant,
2001).Somatization is a mental health issue an uprising chaos
at work place and it needs to be analyzed in detail. In accor-
dance with Hollifield (2005), Somatization disorder is a proto-
type of somatoform disorders (Shima & Satoh, 2006). Here this
is of key importance to note that somatoform disorders are the
most common psychiatric illnesses in general practice. From
the above discussion it can be concluded that occupational
stress and poor mental health is increasing with the passage of
time at a very high speed and more consideration should be
given to it (Abbe, Harvey & Ikuma, 2011). Examining the so-
matoform disorder, it has seven psychiatric diagnoses which
engage medically unexplained symptoms. Among these seven,
Somatization disorder is the most severe one. Patients who
IJSER
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 7, Issue 8, August2016 1710
ISSN 22295518
IJSER © 2016
http://www.ijser.org
suffer from the disorder do not only complain about the so-
matic symptoms of physical disorders, rather they whine for
the psychological symptoms of psychiatric disorders which
are not present in them. Hence the patients exhibit both soma-
toform and psychoform symptoms (North, 2002).
Somatization is considered among the most ancient medical
and psychiatric phenomenon that the mankind is aware of. It
was recognized as a condition of hysteria by ancient Egypt,
classical Greek and Roman cultures while Hysteria is the Latin
root for uterus. It was thought that the uterus wanders
throughout the body and aggravates a collection of physical
symptoms in the area where it comes to rest.
Literature tells that many of the Freud’s patients suffered from
hysteria. These patients, during therapy, explained wide-
spread histories of sexual abuse and child trauma. Initially
Freud developed the opinion that these traumas cause hysteria
but later with a change of heart he realized that these stories
were fabricated. He did this by revising his theories reflecting
reinterpretation of the allegations by the patients. In 1980, it
was renamed as Somatization and this showed a revised ex-
planation on the basis of its features and multiple medically
undefined symptoms (North, 2002).
Universally Somatization is gestated as a behavior peripheral
to the boundaries of diagnosable syndromes (Kirmayer LJ,
1986, Merskey H., 1979).The literature is quite clear that the
phenomenon is taking rise at the organizations due to hectic
routine work and peer pressure etc. so it needs to be examined
in depth to find out if job stress and poor mental health are
causing somatization at work place.
2 MATERIALS AND METHOD:
2.1 Study design and Sample;
Cross sectional survey of workers with affiliation of govern-
ment (N=150) and nongovernment (N=150) occupational sec-
tor of Wah Cantt and Haripur, Pakistan was conducted using
convenient sampling.
2.2 Objective Of Study:
The present study intends to investigate the impact of job
stress, poor mental health on somatization among workers.
2.3 Hypothesis:
H1: Job Stress and poor mental Health predicts somatization
among workers.
2.4 Measurements:
Workers Job Stress, Poor Mental Health and Somatization
was investigated by Occupational Role Questionaire (Osipow
& Spokane, 1987), Mental Health Inventory38 (Veit & Ware,
1983) and Bradford Somatic Inventory (Mumford et al., 1991).
2.5 Procedure And Statistical Analysis:
The respondents consists of three hundred workers who
completed the questionaire individually, after recieving the
informed consent. With the returned questionaire, confiden-
tiality issues regarding that was made clear, and respondents
was ensure that the data was only used for research purpose.
Hypothesis was test using the Statistical Package For Social
Sciences (Version, 21). Multiple Regression Analysis was used.
3 RESULTS
Tabl e 1:
Multiple regression analysis Of Job Stress, Poor Mental
Health on Somatization N=300:
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