Stress in nurses: The effects of coping and social support

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Abstract

Sources of stress, job satisfaction and coping were investigated in 245 general hospital nurses using standardized questionnaires. It was hypothesized that coping strategies, social support and job satisfaction would moderate or buffer the effects of the stressor on psychological distress, such that those who were lower in coping skills, social support and job satisfaction would be more reactive to stress effects. Negative main effects on mental well-being, as measured by the General Health Questionnaire, were found for workload, lack of social support, inadequate preparation, conflict with other nurses, conflict with doctors and use of avoidance coping strategies. Proposed buffering effects were investigated using multiple regression analysis to control for the main effects. Although consistently in the predicted direction, the buffering effects were found to be very small and non-significant. It was concluded that for stress in nurses the results supported a transactional model rather than an interactive model for social support and coping.

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