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01.08.2015 | Beiträge zum Themenschwerpunkt | Ausgabe 6/2015

Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie 6/2015

Job strain and coping among ageing baby boomers

Zeitschrift:
Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie > Ausgabe 6/2015
Autoren:
Mag.a Anna Wanka, Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Franz Kolland, Mag.a Sophie Psihoda

Abstract

Background

Research indicates that the so-called baby boomer generation (the population born after World War II) exhibits worrying health trends. Taking age-cohort effects into account, it is still unclear how the mechanisms concerning stress and health function and how the distribution of stressors, stress mediators and stress effects on health differ between generations.

Objectives

The article approaches stress from a generational perspective asking: which are the stressors the baby boomer generation is facing? Under which conditions and with which resources is exposure to stressors harmful to health? Is there an accumulation of stress in later working life?

Material and methods

In the course of the project “Wellbeing”, a quantitative online survey was carried out in selected commercial enterprises and public institutions in four project partner countries. The results for Austrian participants are presented in this article.

Results

Employees of the baby boomer generation are exposed to both time-related and social stressors at the workplace and a high percentage of responde nts expressed symptoms of physical and psychological stress. Stress mediators, such as agency-based coping strategies and social resources at the workplace could buffer these stressors; however, stressors and stress mediators are significantly correlated creating a “triple whammy” effect (i.e. exposure to stressors, lack of social resources and restricted coping), which particularly affects older male baby boomers.

Conclusion

Social support buffers the negative effects of a limited health and lower education for female baby boomers, which supports the buffering hypothesis of social convoy theory, whereas male baby boomers lack the resources to effectively cope with work stress.

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