Work stress among six professional groups: The Singapore experience

Kwok Bun Chan*, Gina W F LAI, Yiu Chung Ko, Kam Weng Boey

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    117 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent developments in stress research have called for attention to how social structures influence the stress and coping processes. This paper examines the experience of work stress among professionals in Singapore and argues that workers' experiences in the workplace are influenced not only by individual personality and job nature, but also by structural forces shaping the profession, the social organization of work institutions and the development of the economy. Data were collected from a survey of professionals in Singapore conducted in 1989-1990. The sample consisted of 2570 men and women from six different professions and para-professions, namely general practitioners, lawyers, engineers, teachers, nurses and life insurance personnel. Results showed that performance pressure and work-family conflicts were perceived to be the most stressful aspects of work. These two stressors also significantly contributed to the experience of overall work stress. Further, stress arising from work-family conflicts, performance pressure and poor job prospects was negatively associated with the level of work satisfaction. These findings were discussed in the contexts of increasing professionalization and de-professionalization and the growing emphases on productivity and efficiency in a quickly developing economy. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1415-1432
    Number of pages18
    JournalSocial Science and Medicine
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2000

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Health(social science)
    • History and Philosophy of Science

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Professionals
    • Singapore
    • Work stress


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