SOCIAL SUPPORT AS A MODERATOR OF NURSES' JOB STRESS

GLADYS HIRSCHORN, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between job stress, social support, and health in 130 female hospital nurses. It addressed four questions: Will social support buffer the deleterious effects of job stress? Will work-related support be more effective than nonwork support, and will emotionally sustaining support be more effective than problem-solving support in moderating the deleterious effects of job stress on health? Will life stress modify the relationship between job stress, social support, and health?^ The study employed four instruments: (a) the Nurse Stress Index was used to measure nurses' job stress; (b) the Social Readjustment Rating Scale was used to measure life stress; (c) the Social Support Assessment was used to measure social support; and (d) the SCL-90-R was used to measure health.^ Results revealed a relationship between social support and health, but no moderating effect of social support on job stress was found. This may have been due to the difficulty in observing moderating effects in correlational studies, the lack of high job stress among nurses in this study, or the fact that some job stress cannot be modified by social support. Since no moderating effects were found this investigation could not determine that one type or source of support was more effective than another in moderating the deleterious effects of job stress on health. Data did, however, point to the benefits of emotional support over problem-solving support, and coworker and friend and relative support over supervisor and spouse support in relation to health. Furthermore, the Social Support Assessment was found to be a useful instrument to measure types and sources of social support.^ Implications for future research included an experimental study with subjects experiencing high and low social support and high and low job stress; a longitudinal study measuring moderating effects of social support on job stress; a study of the relationship between job stress, social support, and health with other occupations; and a comparative study investigating the support working husbands and working wives receive from each other. ^

Subject Area

Social psychology|Nursing

Recommended Citation

HIRSCHORN, GLADYS, "SOCIAL SUPPORT AS A MODERATOR OF NURSES' JOB STRESS" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8600088.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8600088

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