Health Discoveries in General Health News

Job authority may bring on physical, psychological illness

December 28, 2009
Being the boss may look good on a resume, but it could result in both physical and psychological medical problems.

A University of Toronto research team surveyed 1,800 American workers in different occupations and found that having job authority brought with it higher levels of "interpersonal conflict" and stress at both work and home that leads to psychological distress, anger and poor health. The researchers defined job authority as managing the work of others, and having control over issues such as salary, hiring and firing others.

While those in authority generally earn more money and have jobs that involve higher level, problem-solving tasks, there are drawbacks as well. "Unfortunately, there are also downsides to job authority that undermine or offset the upsides of having power at work," said Scott Schieman, a sociology professor who was the lead author on the study. "Power at work does have drawbacks, and the negative impact on personal health – both emotional and physical – is one of them."

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, dozens of studies are underway at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research on mental health issues that can impact patients' physical well-being.ADNFCR-2730-ID-19531119-ADNFCR
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