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Stressors, coping strategies and stress-related outcomes among direct care staff in staffed houses for people with learning disabilities

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1995
<mark>Journal</mark>Mental Handicap Research
Issue number4
Volume8
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)252-271
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Self-reported stressors, coping strategies and stress-related outcomes were explored among 68 direct-care staff working in two networks of small staffed houses for people with learning disabilities. The two networks tended to have lower rates of staff turnover, and staff tended to be older, more qualified and more likely to have dependants, than staff in UK community services reported in previous studies. Staff in Network 2 rated several stressors as more stressful and reported themselves as experiencing greater general distress and work-related stress, than staff in Network 1. Multiple regressions revealed that: (1) stressors relating to the emotional impact of the work, violent service user behaviour and the use of a wishful thinking coping strategy were associated with perceived work stress; (2) stressors relating to the conflict of work with personal or family demands, and the use of a wishful thinking coping strategy, were associated with symptoms of general distress; (3) perceived work stress, together with uncertainty concerning job tasks and limited opportunities for personal advancement, were perceived to have a high impact on work performance; (4) general distress, together with conflicts between work and personal or family demands and violent service user behaviour, were perceived to have a high impact on staff social life; (5) general distress, together with stressors relating to conflicts between work and personal or family demands and perceived deficiencies in other staff, were perceived to have a high impact on staff personal relationships. The organisational implications of these findings are discussed.