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Social support and fires in the workplace : a preliminary investigation

McKimmie, Blake M. , Jimmieson, Nerina L. , Mathews, Rebecca, & Moffat, Kieren (2009) Social support and fires in the workplace : a preliminary investigation. Work: A journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, 32(1), pp. 59-68.

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Abstract

Workers who experience fire in the workplace are faced with disruption to their work routine, as well as the emotional strain of the fire. In the broader occupational stress literature, researchers have suggested that social support will be most effective at reducing the negative effects of stressors on strain when the type of support matches the type of stressor being experienced (either instrumental or emotional). This study was a preliminary investigation into employee responses to less routine stressors, such as workplace fires, and the role of different sources of social support in predicting coping effectiveness. This study also was a first attempt at considering the influence of the social context (in terms of group identification) on the effectiveness of social support as a predictor of coping effectiveness. Specifically, it was predicted that social support would be more effective when it came from multiple sources within the organization, that it would be especially effective when provided from a group that workers identified more strongly with, and that simply feeling part of a group would improve adjustment. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 33 employees who had recently experienced a significant fire in their workplace. Results suggested that the type of stressors experienced and the type of support were mismatched, but despite this, coping effectiveness was generally moderate to high. There was mixed support for predictions about the effects of social support–no moderating effect of group identification on coping effectiveness was observed for measures of workplace support, although it did moderate the effects of family support on this adjustment indicator.

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2 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 31593
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Stress, Social Support, Trauma
DOI: 10.3233/WOR-2009-0816
ISSN: 1051-9815
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 I O S Press
Deposited On: 01 Apr 2010 08:47
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 02:13

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