Sat, Jun 25, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Study finds women are more stressed than men

GENDER GAP:The study by the Council of Labor Affairs found that issues such as disputes with supervisors or co-workers concerned women much more than men

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff Reporter

Women experience more stress than men in the workplace and in life in general, and the sources of stress — such as concerns over sexual harassment at work — are the major difference between female and male employees, a study by the Council of Labor Affairs shows.

The council’s Institute of Occupational Safety and Health recently asked 1,446 employees about their sources of stress at home and at work by asking them to rate them on a scale of one to 10, with one being the least stressful and 10 the most stressful.

The survey found that regardless of gender, when it comes to work-related stress, employees are most stressed about “company insolvency,” which received an average of 5.86 points. This was followed by “company’s future prospects unclear” (5.83 points), “lay-offs or mandatory retirement” (5.67 points), “unpaid leave” (5.53 points) and “liability involved in company accidents” (5.00 points).

As to sources of stress at home, employees were overwhelmingly concerned with “decreased income,” which garnered an average of 6.35 points, the survey showed.

This was followed by “injury or illness in the family” (6.12 points), “sudden loss of a large amount of wealth or a large increase in living costs” (5.91 points) and “death of spouse, children or siblings” (5.77 points).

The survey also found that women in general were more stressed both at the workplace and at home.

The source of work-related stress with the largest disparity between the two genders was “sexual harassment,” which ranked No. 28 on the list of most common sources of stress in the workplace.

Other factors such as “disputes with supervisors” and “disputes with co-workers” were also issues that worried women much more than men.

At home, matters involving the death of a spouse, children or siblings was also much more stressful for women than men, while the death of a friend or damage to the reputation of a family member also troubled women more than men, the survey showed.

The study also showed a positive correlation between an employee’s education and work-related stress. The more educated an employee was, the more stress he or she felt at the workplace. Also, those with longer working hours felt more stressed at work.

The study also found a relationship between the type of employment and the level of work-related stress, with employees under contract or under temporary work experiencing more stress than regular employees or those with long-term employment.

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