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Self-monitoring in women clerical workers : personality and coping with work-related stress Lubbers, Ralph William

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine clerical workers' experience of work-related stress in an effort to understand the role of self-monitoring, a stable personality trait, in the stress and coping process. Consistent with recent research on how individuals cope with stress, this study examined both personality factors and transactional processes. Self-monitoring, the degree to which an individual observes their social environment and subsequently regulates their own behaviour, has significant implications for how individuals respond to work-related stressor events. Drawn from archival data, 96 female clerical workers provided general demographic information, workplace characteristics, and self-monitoring tendencies via paper and pencil instruments. Cognitive appraisals, coping strategies, and affective responses to a salient stressor were gathered using a daily diary data collection method. Twice daily responses to a work-related stressor that had occurred during the immediately preceding morning and afternoon were recorded over 15 consecutive workdays. Chi Square, ANOVA, and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to test the relationship between self-monitoring and the stress and coping processes of cognitive appraisals, coping strategies, and affective responses. Results indicate that self-monitoring is associated with differential reactivity, coping choices, and coping effectiveness in the clerical worker's response to work-related stressors. Results of this study have important implications for the theoretical understanding of stress and coping by clarifying the role of self-monitoring in the stress and coping process, and tentative implications for how counselling psychologists design workplace stress interventions for clerical workers.

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