Workers with high control, but low confidence, are the most likely to become ill: study

People who tend to blame themselves or who don't feel qualified to do their job - even if they have control - are under a high degree of stress.

The popular theory has been that stress is highest in people who have little control in their jobs.

But a new study suggests that workers who have a high degree of control, but tend to blame themselves, or who feel unqualified, can be even more stressed out.

The study was published by the American Psychological Association in its Journal of Applied Psychology. These types of people, the Journal suggests, are more vulnerable to illness because of a depressed immune system due to stress.

So, simply giving employees more control over their jobs is not the answer. For many workers, this could actually increase their level of stress.

The study looked at 217 employees of a market research firm in Lincoln, Neb. Workers from every rung of the ladder were studies, right up to senior executives. The researchers asked the employees how they felt about their jobs, checked their levels of immune antibodies and looked for respiratory symptoms.

Employees who said they had a high level of control in their job but felt insecure about their abilities, or who blamed themselves for workplace problems, had lower antibodies and got sick more often.

The answer for employees who are suffering from stress because they don’t feel competent may be to implement programs that help raise their level of confidence in themselves.

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