Occupational stress causes significant problems for business and industry. The loss to companies in the U.S. totals $300 billion a year. Prolonged or intense stress has a negative impact on an individual's physical and mental health. Of the 155.1 million Americans in the labor force, 36% to 55% report moderate to high levels of stress at work. Although stress management programs have become popular in the workplace over the last two decades, these efforts have done little to reduce occupational stress. Recent evidence suggests that the current stress management paradigm be shifted to an emotion management approach. Emotion management provides a strong theoretical and practical base for direct intervention in worksites. In addition, Emotion Intelligence (EI) research offers five constructs (i.e., self awareness, social awareness, emotional management and regulation, change management, and general mood and self-motivation) that directly relate to the appraisal and coping constructs of the revised Lazarus1 model of stress, coping and emotion. This project will develop an intervention program based on behavior change theory (i.e., social cognitive theory) that will modify Dysfunctional Emotional Responses through change in the five EI constructs. The proposed research project will shift the focus from the traditional "lifestyle stress and coping" strategies to an approach which makes emotional self-management a key element of the stress and coping process. An 8-session interactive multimedia, training program will be produced to teach employees emotion management and interpersonal skills to help minimize the impact of occupational stress. The project will integrate proven adult education and e-Learning instructional design strategies with behavioral change theory to help employees: (a) develop a problem-solving approach when encountering stressful situations;(b) learn to identify moods, negative thinking, out of control behaviors and dysfunctional emotional responses which interfere with working relationships and job performance;and (c) develop skills to manage their emotional reactions, both externally and internally. In Phase II, the full-scope training program will be developed and evaluated in a large-scale randomized trial.
Occupational stress causes significant problems for business and industry including absenteeism, turnover, decreased job performance, lowered productivity, compensation claims, and health insurance costs. The loss to companies in the U.S. totals $300 billion a year. Prolonged or intense stress has a negative impact on an individual's physical and mental health. Of the 155.1 million Americans in the labor force, 36% to 55% report moderate to high levels of stress at work.