Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Power At Work Has Payoffs, But Not For Health

Date:
October 26, 2009
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
Being at the top has its perks, but new research shows people in positions of authority at work are more likely to experience certain psychological and physical problems that can undermine the health benefits associated with job authority.

Being at the top has its perks, but new University of Toronto research shows people in positions of authority at work are more likely to experience certain psychological and physical problems that can undermine the health benefits associated with job authority.

The study -- which used data from a national survey of 1,800 American workers in different occupations and sectors -- reveals previously undocumented evidence about the up and downsides of having authority in the workplace. People with job authority are defined as those who direct or manage the work of others, have control over others, pay, and can hire or fire others.

Sociology professor Scott Schieman and PhD student Sarah Reid found people with more authority at work experience certain benefits that can contribute to better health. They tend to earn greater pay and have jobs that involve more problem-solving tasks, making their work more interesting and engaging.

"Unfortunately, there are also downsides to job authority that undermine or offset the upsides of having power at work," says Schieman. "In most cases, the health costs negate the benefits."

People with job authority report significantly higher levels of interpersonal conflict with others, says Schieman. They're also more likely to encounter work-to-home interference, where stressors at work spill over into non-work domains like family and leisure time. These factors increase the risk for psychological distress, anger and poor health.

"Power at work does have drawbacks, and the negative impact on personal health -- both emotional and physical -- is one of them," says Schieman, lead author on the study.

These findings help explain a lingering paradox in sociological research about job stress: Higher status positions have attributes that should contribute to less stress and better health, but people with authority at work don't seem to have better health. This study sheds new light on the underlying dynamics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "Power At Work Has Payoffs, But Not For Health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091019134720.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2009, October 26). Power At Work Has Payoffs, But Not For Health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091019134720.htm
University of Toronto. "Power At Work Has Payoffs, But Not For Health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091019134720.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins