Stress at work: psychobiological and psychosocial aspects1


  • 1

    The research reported in this paper was supported by grants from the Swedish Work Environment Fund, the Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Swedish Medical Research Council.


This article outlines our approach to the issue of stress, coping and health as related to the psychosocial work environment. We have focused on work processes and work organization related to different applications of technology. It is by now generally recognized that mechanization and automation may result not only in improved productivity, but may also have negative side effects at the human level (e.g., Gardell and Johansson, 1981; Levi et al., 1982). We are trying to identify these aversive factors. Moreover, we want to identify the protective factors, by which we mean psychosocial conditions, which may serve as buffers protecting the person from harmful stress effects. In other words, we are asking the question how research on human stress and coping can contribute to intervention and prevention, not only at the individual level but also at the systems level (Frankenhaeuser, 1981).