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Work Psychology and Occupational Health

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 22594

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Akita University Health Center, Akita University, 1-1 Tegatagakuen-machi, Akita 010-8502, Japan
Interests: psychiatry; work psychology; occupational health; mental health; stress

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) is seeking submissions for a Special Issue on “Work Psychology and Occupational Health.”

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has been detrimental to workers’ health, especially mental health. Although many studies have revealed serious impacts on workers' wellbeing, there is still insufficient assessment and insight into the effects of the pandemic on workers and businesses, especially regarding psychological impacts and coping strategies.

This Special Issue welcomes manuscripts that focus on topics such as (1) the effect of the pandemic on the working environment; (2) the relationship between the pandemic and the psychological effects on workers, and (3) maintenance and/or measures for workers’ health (especially mental health) during the pandemic. The key items for the above objectives are: introduction and increase of telework and online operations; changes in the working environment such as reduced working hours, dismissal, and the effects of unemployment; changes such as increased stress and decreased coping strategies among workers; increased loneliness, and isolation, as well as decreased opportunities for communication—including opportunities for employees to meet for mental health resources—and an increase in the need for self-care as a stress-coping method that can be practiced by one person. It also includes hands-on experience in dealing with the increase in serious stress and loneliness via strong support at the organizational and individual levels.

Prof. Dr. Masahito Fushimi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • work psychology
  • occupational health
  • mental health
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • self-care
  • coping strategy
  • stress
  • worker
  • loneliness
  • isolation

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 962 KiB  
Article
Adapting the Stress First Aid Model for Frontline Healthcare Workers during COVID-19
by Mayer H. Bellehsen, Haley M. Cook, Pooja Shaam, Daniella Burns, Peter D’Amico, Arielle Goldberg, Mary Beth McManus, Manish Sapra, Lily Thomas, Annmarie Wacha-Montes, George Zenzerovich, Patricia Watson, Richard J. Westphal and Rebecca M. Schwartz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020171 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1326
Abstract
The coronavirus pandemic has generated and continues to create unprecedented demands on our healthcare systems. Healthcare workers (HCWs) face physical and psychological stresses caring for critically ill patients, including experiencing anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Nurses and nursing staff disproportionately experienced COVID-19-related [...] Read more.
The coronavirus pandemic has generated and continues to create unprecedented demands on our healthcare systems. Healthcare workers (HCWs) face physical and psychological stresses caring for critically ill patients, including experiencing anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Nurses and nursing staff disproportionately experienced COVID-19-related psychological distress due to their vital role in infection mitigation and direct patient care. Therefore, there is a critical need to understand the short- and long-term impact of COVID-19 stress exposures on nursing staff wellbeing and to assess the impact of wellbeing programs aimed at supporting HCWs. To that end, the current study aims to evaluate an evidence-informed peer support stress reduction model, Stress First Aid (SFA), implemented across units within a psychiatric hospital in the New York City area during the pandemic. To examine the effectiveness of SFA, we measured stress, burnout, coping self-efficacy, resilience, and workplace support through self-report surveys completed by nurses and nursing staff over twelve months. The implementation of SFA across units has the potential to provide the workplace-level and individual-level skills necessary to reduce stress and promote resilience, which can be utilized and applied during waves of respiratory illness acuity or any other healthcare-related stressors among this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Psychology and Occupational Health)
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14 pages, 384 KiB  
Article
Mentalizing, Resilience, and Mental Health Status among Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Teodora Safiye, Medo Gutić, Jakša Dubljanin, Tamara M. Stojanović, Draško Dubljanin, Andreja Kovačević, Milena Zlatanović, Denis H. Demirović, Nemanja Nenezić and Ardea Milidrag
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(8), 5594; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20085594 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2488
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented stress on healthcare professionals worldwide. Since resilience and mentalizing capacity play very important preventive roles when it comes to mental health, the main goal of this study was to determine whether the capacity for mentalizing and resilience [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented stress on healthcare professionals worldwide. Since resilience and mentalizing capacity play very important preventive roles when it comes to mental health, the main goal of this study was to determine whether the capacity for mentalizing and resilience could explain the levels of depression, anxiety, and stress among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study was conducted in Serbia on a sample of 406 healthcare workers (141 doctors and 265 nurses) aged 19 to 65 (M = 40.11, SD = 9.41). The participants’ mental health status was evaluated using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale—DASS-42. The Reflective Functioning Questionnaire was used to evaluate the capacity for mentalizing. Resilience was assessed using the Brief Resilience Scale. The results of the correlation analysis showed that there were negative correlations between resilience and all three dimensions of mental health status: depression, anxiety, and stress. Hypermentalizing was negatively correlated with depression, anxiety, and stress, while hypomentalizing was positively correlated. Hierarchical linear regression analysis showed that both resilience and hypermentalizing were significant negative predictors of depression, anxiety, and stress, and that hypomentalizing was a significant positive predictor of depression, anxiety, and stress. Furthermore, socioeconomic status was a significant negative predictor of depression, anxiety, and stress. Marital status, number of children, and work environment were not statistically significant predictors of any of the three dimensions of mental health status among the healthcare workers in this study. There is an urgent need to establish and implement strategies to foster resilience and enhance the capacity for mentalizing among healthcare workers in order to minimize the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Psychology and Occupational Health)
13 pages, 390 KiB  
Article
Teacher Burnout in the Time of COVID-19: Antecedents and Psychological Consequences
by Anita Padmanabhanunni and Tyrone B. Pretorius
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 4204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054204 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2669
Abstract
The important, frontline role of teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic has often gone unrecognized, and attention to their mental health and well-being is often only the focus of scholarly research. The unprecedented challenges that teachers faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and the stresses [...] Read more.
The important, frontline role of teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic has often gone unrecognized, and attention to their mental health and well-being is often only the focus of scholarly research. The unprecedented challenges that teachers faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and the stresses and strains associated with it have severely impacted their psychological well-being. This study examined the predictors and the psychological consequences of burnout. Participants (N = 355) were schoolteachers in South Africa who completed the Perceived Vulnerability to Disease Questionnaire, the Fear of COVID-19 Scale, the Role Orientation Questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Centre for Epidemiological Depression Scale, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, and the trait scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The results of a multiple regression showed that fear of COVID-19, role ambiguity, and role conflict were significant predictors of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, while perceived infectability and role ambiguity significantly predicted personal accomplishment. Gender and age also predicted emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, respectively, and age was also a significant predictor of personal accomplishment. Generally, the dimensions of burnout were significant predictors of indices of psychological well-being—namely, depression, hopelessness, anxiety, and life satisfaction—with the exception of the association between depersonalization and life satisfaction. Our results suggest that intervention efforts to reduce burnout need to provide teachers with adequate job resources to buffer against the demands and stressors associated with their work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Psychology and Occupational Health)
14 pages, 626 KiB  
Article
An Exploratory Study of Nurses’ Feelings about COVID-19 after Experiencing SARS
by Hui-Ling Lee, Pei-Ju Chang and Li-Chiu Lin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032256 - 27 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1168
Abstract
The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 in Taiwan impacted Taiwanese society. However, the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported in Wuhan and spread around the world. During these outbreaks, nursing staff experienced different levels of pressure. [...] Read more.
The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 in Taiwan impacted Taiwanese society. However, the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported in Wuhan and spread around the world. During these outbreaks, nursing staff experienced different levels of pressure. Studies have explored the stress and adjustment of nurses during these periods, but studies describing the feelings of nurses during both SARS and COVID-19 outbreaks are lacking. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of nurses who had cared for both SARS and COVID-19 patients. A qualitative study combined with snowball sampling was applied. Semi-structured questions were used to interview 10 nurses who had experienced both SARS and COVID-19. Two themes and four sub-themes were analyzed, which were: facing the epidemic from the unknown to known; and the experiences from ignorance to proficiency. The sub-themes were: the feeling of frustration and concern; bottlenecks and pressures in my work; my mission and support; and positive energy and camaraderie. The results showed that the media acts as an important resource during disease outbreaks; therefore, government departments have to use their wisdom to make good use of the media. Secondly, understanding the general public’s response to the disease is also important for first-line nurses. Finally, on-the-job education and guidelines for first-line nurses are necessary, and support from the administration is also important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Psychology and Occupational Health)
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15 pages, 524 KiB  
Article
Transformational Leadership and Emotional Labor: The Mediation Effects of Psychological Empowerment
by Pengfei Cheng, Zhuangzi Liu and Linfei Zhou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1030; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021030 - 06 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2688
Abstract
In order to survive the fiercer competition, more and more service firms emphasize front-line employees’ role of creating excellent customer experience by displaying positive emotions during the service interactions. However, the underlying mechanisms for the relationship between transformational leadership and front-line employees’ emotional [...] Read more.
In order to survive the fiercer competition, more and more service firms emphasize front-line employees’ role of creating excellent customer experience by displaying positive emotions during the service interactions. However, the underlying mechanisms for the relationship between transformational leadership and front-line employees’ emotional labor remain unclear. Drawing upon the conservation of resources (COR) theory, this study develops a conceptual model in which transformational leadership influences front-line employees’ emotional labor through the mediator of psychological empowerment. By collecting data from 436 employees in five call centers, we tested our model and hypotheses through PROCESS 3.3 macro for SPSS developed by Hayes. The results show that transformational leadership shows positive and negative effects on deep acting and surface acting, respectively. The positive effect on deep acting is partially mediated by psychological empowerment, while the negative effect on surface acting is fully mediated by psychological empowerment. Specifically, two dimensions of psychological empowerment (impact, self-efficacy) play negative mediating roles between transformational leadership and surface acting, while impact, self-determination, and self-efficacy play positive mediating roles of transformational leadership and deep acting. The findings advance our understanding about how transformational leadership influences front-line employees’ emotional labor by introducing psychological empowerment as a mediator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Psychology and Occupational Health)
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15 pages, 1206 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Perceived External Prestige on Emotional Labor of Frontline Employees: The Mediating Roles of Organizational Identification and Impression Management Motive
by Pengfei Cheng, Jingxuan Jiang and Zhuangzi Liu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 10778; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710778 - 30 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
Drawing on both the organization identification and impression management theories, we propose that perceived external prestige of frontline employees influences their emotional labor through organizational identification and impression management motive. Further, the relative influence of either pathway depends upon perceived organizational support. Using [...] Read more.
Drawing on both the organization identification and impression management theories, we propose that perceived external prestige of frontline employees influences their emotional labor through organizational identification and impression management motive. Further, the relative influence of either pathway depends upon perceived organizational support. Using survey data from 377 frontline employees in 104 hotels, the results indicate that perceived external prestige is positively related to deep acting, and negatively related to surface acting. Organizational identification partially mediates the relationship between perceived external prestige and deep acting. However, the relationship between perceived external prestige and surface acting is partially mediated both by organizational identification and impression management motive. In addition, perceived organizational support positively moderates the relationship between perceived external prestige and organizational identification, and negatively moderates the relationship between perceived external prestige and impression management motive, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Psychology and Occupational Health)
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16 pages, 1059 KiB  
Article
Ergonomic Factors That Impact Job Satisfaction and Occupational Health during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Based on a Structural Equation Model: A Cross-Sectional Exploratory Analysis of University Workers
by Víctor Manuel Ramos-García, Josué Aarón López-Leyva, Raúl Ignacio Ramos-García, Juan José García-Ochoa, Iván Ochoa-Vázquez, Paulina Guerrero-Ortega, Rafael Verdugo-Miranda and Saúl Verdugo-Miranda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 10714; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710714 - 28 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2026
Abstract
This paper presents a structural equation model to determine the job satisfaction and occupational health impacts concerning organizational and physical ergonomics, using (as a study) objective unionized workers from the University of Sonora, South Campus, as an educational enterprise, during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. [...] Read more.
This paper presents a structural equation model to determine the job satisfaction and occupational health impacts concerning organizational and physical ergonomics, using (as a study) objective unionized workers from the University of Sonora, South Campus, as an educational enterprise, during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The above is a key element of an organizational sustainability framework. In fact, there exists a knowledge gap about the relationship between diverse ergonomic factors, job satisfaction, and occupational health, in the educational institution’s context. The method used was a stratified sample of workers to which a job satisfaction–occupational health questionnaire was applied, consisting of 31 items with three-dimensional variables. As a result, the overall Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient was determined, 0.9028, which is considered adequate to guarantee reliability (i.e., very high magnitude). Therefore, after the structural equation model, only 12 items presented a strong correlation, with a good model fit of 0.036 based on the root mean square error of approximation, 1.09 degrees of freedom for the chi-square, 0.9 for the goodness of fit index, and a confidence level of 95%. Organizational and physical factors have positive impacts on job satisfaction with factor loads of 0.37 and 0.53, respectively, and p-values of 0.016 and 0.000, respectively. The constructs related to occupational health that are considered less important by the workers were also determined, which would imply a mitigation strategy. The results contribute to the body of knowledge concerning the ergonomic dimensions mentioned and support organizational sustainability improvements in educational institutions and other sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Psychology and Occupational Health)
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18 pages, 578 KiB  
Article
Occupational Stress in Chinese Higher Education Institutions: A Case Study of Doctoral Supervisors
by Xueyu Wang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9503; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159503 - 02 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1675
Abstract
This qualitative study is intended to explore the factors that contribute to the occupational stress suffered by Chinese doctoral supervisors and the kind of measures needed to effectively address the issue. Through purposive and snowballing sampling, 30 Chinese doctoral supervisors in different disciplines [...] Read more.
This qualitative study is intended to explore the factors that contribute to the occupational stress suffered by Chinese doctoral supervisors and the kind of measures needed to effectively address the issue. Through purposive and snowballing sampling, 30 Chinese doctoral supervisors in different disciplines of natural science and social science were selected. A semi-structured interview protocol was used, and the data were analyzed based on grounded theory methodology. Chinese doctoral supervisors experienced varied stressors of nuanced nature, which could be categorized into two core categories, i.e., performance-appraisal-related factors and Ph.D. student-related factors, which were further divided into 18 subcategories and 10 higher-level categories. Chinese doctoral supervisors are under various sources of stress, corroborating with and reinforcing previous research findings in respect to occupational stress worldwide. Through the analysis of the stress triggers, suggestions are presented in regard to what mental health professionals and educational policy makers can do to address the issue of concern for doctoral supervisors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Psychology and Occupational Health)
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19 pages, 1551 KiB  
Article
How Does Leadership in Safety Management Affect Employees’ Safety Performance? A Case Study from Mining Enterprises in China
by Shu Zhang, Xinyu Hua, Ganghai Huang and Xiuzhi Shi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 6187; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106187 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2732
Abstract
Leadership is a necessary element for ensuring workplace safety. Rather little is known about the role of leadership safety behaviours (LSBs) in the mining industry. Using regression analysis and structural equation modelling analysis, this study examined the cause-and-effect relationships between leadership safety behaviours [...] Read more.
Leadership is a necessary element for ensuring workplace safety. Rather little is known about the role of leadership safety behaviours (LSBs) in the mining industry. Using regression analysis and structural equation modelling analysis, this study examined the cause-and-effect relationships between leadership safety behaviours and safety performance. Data were collected by questionnaires from 305 miners in China. Data were analysed using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis, which identified five main dimensions of LSBs: safety management commitment, safety communication with feedback, safety policy, safety incentives, and safety training; the analysis also identified three main dimensions of safety performance: employee’s safety compliance, safety participation, and safety accidents. The results showed the overall effects of each LSB variable on safety compliance in descending order as: safety training (0.504), safety incentives (0.480), safety communication with feedback (0.377), safety management commitment (0.281), and safety policy (0.110). The overall effects of each LSB variable on safety participation in descending order were: safety training (0.706), safety incentives (0.496), safety management commitment (0.365), and safety policy (0.247). Furthermore, we found that safety management commitment and safety incentives increased employees’ safety behaviours, but this influence was mediated by safety training, safety policy, and safety communication with feedback. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Psychology and Occupational Health)
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