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Optimism, Stress and Coping Style: Contributing Factors in Mental Health Workers' Psychological Strain in a Stressful Work Environment

5 December 2008


The relationships between dispositional optimism, pessimism, coping, work stress, and psychological strain in mental health workers were examined. The researcher investigated the proposition that higher levels of optimism and pessimism are moderators of work stress, coping, and psychological strain in a stressful work environment (N=17). The present findings suggest that optimism and pessimism have strong correlations with work stress, coping efforts, as well as psychological strain. More specifically, employees who are optimistic tend to participate in more positive coping and have lower overall levels of work stress and psychological strain, while employees who are pessimistic tend to utilize more negative coping and have higher overall levels of work stress psychological strain. However, due to the lower than expected sample size, the moderator analyses were not run and thus, moderating effects in this sample are unknown. Implications of this research are discussed.


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