Date of Award

Spring 5-1994

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Community & Environmental Health


Community Health Education

Committee Director

David A. Sterling

Committee Member

Gregory H. Frazer

Committee Member

Scott R. Sechrist

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C48H56


The industrial hygiene professional is responsible for the evaluation and control of hazards in the workplace. Job stress has been identified as a factor affecting the health, safety and productivity of workers and can be considered a workplace hazard.

This study involved the development of an instrument to identify and quantify sources of stress within a give profession. The industrial hygiene profession was chosen, though the method can be, and has been, used to evaluate stress in other groups of individuals. The method involved the identification of the most significant sources of stress by surveying a small number of the group. Then, the top 36 stressors were listed and one was selected to be a mid-point stressor. A questionnaire was developed in which subjects were asked to rate each stressor for intensity on a scale of zero to 1000 compared to the mid-point stressor. Also, the subjects were asked to give a rating for frequency: how often each item had been a source of stress to them in the last six months. In addition, the questionnaire contained demographic questions and selected items from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Generic Job Stress Questionnaire.

The instrument was mailed, with stamped, addressed return envelope to 500 randomly selected members of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).

From the 212 respondents, the stressors were ranked according to their mean intensity and frequency ratings. Then, by combining intensity and frequency values, an estimation of relative importance that the most important sources industrial hygiene professional are was obtained, indicating of job stress to the 1) workload/not enough time, 2) paperwork, 3) lack of organizational communication, 4) administrative duties, 5) responsibility for legal compliance, 6) interruptions, and 7) making decisions involving human health. In addition, certain demographic variables were found to be significant for stress responses: a higher salary corresponded to higher stress. Generally, a lower age corresponded to lower stress. Stress peaked at age 50 to 55, however, and lower stress was noticed for those over age 55. Stress varied by type of employer and job description, also.


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