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Workload, stress and family life in British Members of Parliament and the psychological impact of reforms to their working hours

Weinberg, A, Cooper, CL and Weinberg, A 1999, 'Workload, stress and family life in British Members of Parliament and the psychological impact of reforms to their working hours' , Stress Medicine, 15 (2) , pp. 79-87.

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Abstract

Demands on Britain's Members of Parliament (MPs) have grown steadily over the last 15 years, resulting in parliamentary recommendations of working hours reform. This study was the first psychological research on national politicians and comprised two stages. Initially baseline data were gathered via questionnaire on the psychological impact of the job—124 out of 651 MPs (20 percent) responded. Results revealed long working hours, higher mean scores on physical stress and Type A behaviour scales compared to British managers, as well as greatly reduced levels of perceived control. Type A behaviour was linked to the ages of MPs and their children, while perceived control was altered significantly by political party membership and constituency location. At stage two, following a 9-month trial of reforms to MPs' working hours, a follow-up questionnaire was circulated. One hundred and ten out of 200 MPs responded. Results indicated increases approaching significance in both physical and emotional symptoms of stress and in difficulties at the home–work interface. MPs highlighted the stressful role of time pressures, family and constituency problems and job insecurity. Stress levels were significantly affected by the MP's age, their children's ages, constituency distance from Westminster, weekly travel time and extra work roles outside politics.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA0790 Mental health. Mental illness prevention
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Justice Research
Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care
Journal or Publication Title: Stress Medicine
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0748-8386
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2011 12:46
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:45
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/12764

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