Original Research

The dimensionality of the general work stress scale: A hierarchical exploratory factor analysis

Gideon P De Bruin
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 32, No 4 | a250 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v32i4.250 | © 2006 Gideon P De Bruin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2006 | Published: 29 October 2006

About the author(s)

Gideon P De Bruin, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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This study examined the dimensionality or factor structure of the General Work Stress Scale (GWSS), which is a brief measure of subjectively experienced or felt work stress. The responses of two independent groups of adult workers were subjected to maximum likelihood factor analysis. In both groups a three factor solution provided the best fit with the data. A higher order factor analysis with an orthogonal Schmid-Leiman transformation showed that in both groups, responses to the items are dominated by a general factor, which might be labelled General Work Stress. Three minor group factors were identified: a motivational factor reflected by a desire to leave the organisation, an affective factor reflected by a tendency to worry, and a cognitive factor reflected by concentration and attentional difficulties. Overall, the results provide support for the construct validity of the GWSS as a measure of subjectively experienced work stress.


Genral work stress; Factor analysis


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