Mental Health and Illness in the Workplace: An Evo..., 2009

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Title
Mental Health and Illness in the Workplace: An Evolutionary Perspective on Several Workplace Triggers of Mental Illness
Date
2009
Material Type
Undergraduate Research
Creator/Author
Demsky, Caitlin
Copyright
Copyright 2009 by Caitlin Demsky. This material is copyrighted, and any further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without the permission of the copyright owner.
Peer-reviewed
Non peer-reviewed
Subject
Psychology; Workplace; Mental health; Physical characteristics; Depression; Anxiety; Somatic symptoms; Mental illness -- Etiology; Job stress; Evolutionary psychology; Human evolution -- Environmental aspects;
Description
The present study examines the hypothesis that the prevalence of mental illness in the workplace is partially due to a mismatch between qualities of the modern workplace and the anscestral environment in which humans evolved. The Workplace Characteristics Survey (see Appendix A) was developed to assess the levels of several evolutionarily relevant characteristics of the workplace, including: exposure to sunlight, exposure to greenery, noise levels, physical activity, quality of sleep and amount and quality of interaction with animals and humans. Dependent variables were depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms, which were also assessed with questionnaires. The researcher hypothesized that lower levels of depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms would be found in employees who reported higher levels of sunlight exposure, physical activity, interaction with humans and animals, greenery exposure and sleep quality as related to their workplace, and that higher levels of depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms would be found in employees who reported higher noise levels in their workplace. Significant correlations were found between noise levels and quality of sleep and depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms. McNair Scholar project. Faculty Advisor: Stephen Colarelli.
Language
English
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