Workplace stress and health: The mediating roles of social support and coping

Stress can play a significant role in physical and mental health. The workplace is one common source of stress, which has been linked to psychological distress, back pain, gastrointestinal diseases, cardiovascular disease and heart disease. It’s also estimated that stress accounts for more than 50 per cent of absenteeism. However, stress in the workplace does not inevitably lead to illness and is preventable. Dayna Lee-Baggley is investigating how coping techniques and strong social support from co-workers, supervisors and family can decrease the harmful effects of workplace stress. Her study focuses on understanding how stress and coping unfold on a daily basis in the workplace, as well as the ways stress can “spillover” at home. The research will help identify individuals who may have difficulty coping with workplace stress and workplaces that may promote or hinder successful coping. The study results will also suggest intervention strategies to support people at risk of suffering from the adverse health outcomes caused by workplace stress.