Friday, May 13, 2005

Winsborough: Young women have it hardest

Got this in the email today from Winsborough's Psyched for Business e-newsletter. Interesting stuff:

Dear Simon

In recent weeks we've analysed the data from our Stress and Resilience Programme.

Close to 500 employees have now completed the Programme, providing a solid database against which individual and company-wide comparisons can be made.

We thought you'd be interested in the following key findings and commentary from Winsborough Senior Consultant Rachael Stott.


Young women between 20 – 29 years of age report higher levels of stress than any other group, while older workers are better able to cope.

Generally, more women than men are rated as experiencing higher levels of stress.

High stress women also showed high levels of social support, but this alone is not enough. Building resilience is also necessary for effective stress control.

Women in general assume more responsibility for the wellbeing of the home and social relationships than men, who compartmentalise their lives more.


The most highly stressed individuals report higher levels of stress from both work and home sources.

High stress individuals are less likely to use the most effective stress reduction strategies, for example, problem solving.

Low stress individuals by contrast are more resilient - they are more optimistic and feel in greater control of their lives.


The psychological concept of 'flow' has emerged as one of the most important buffers of stress. Flow is popularly described as being 'in the zone' or alert, attentive and in control.


A strong relationship was found between age and stress.

Workers over 50 years of age report lower levels of stress, more effective coping strategies and higher levels of resilience.

Older and younger workers report three main causes of stress at work: perceived ability to meet performance goals, control over daily tasks and conflict over their daily priorities. However, older workers still rate these significantly less stressful than their younger colleagues.

Older and younger workers report that the same factors cause them stress at work but they employ different coping strategies.

Older workers display higher levels of resilience… they are more optimistic, feel more in control and have more positive feelings about their work.


The survey findings reinforce the need for good quality programmes that help people deal with stress in a positive, healthy way.

Employers need to be on the front foot, providing staff with the simple skills to make them stronger.

Smart managers will do four things.

  1. They will understand stress and what it looks like.
  2. They will have systems in place to monitor and prevent hazards.
  3. They will measure stress periodically; and
  4. They will equip staff with tools and skills that build strength and coping.

If you would like to discuss these survey findings or learn more about our Stress and Resilience Programme, then please contact Rachael Stott or Dave Winsborough on Ph: (04) 499 8777 or email


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