Original Research

An empirical investigation of job and family stressors amongst firefighters in the South African context

R M Oosthuizen, P Koortzen
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 33, No 1 | a252 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v33i1.252 | © 2007 R M Oosthuizen, P Koortzen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2007 | Published: 29 October 2007

About the author(s)

R M Oosthuizen, University of South Africa, South Africa
P Koortzen, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Abstract

The general aim of the research was to theoretically and empirically study and evaluate job and family stressors amongst firefighters in the South African context. This also included an empirical evaluation of the stress symptoms of firefighters. The research was quantitative, consisting of a survey design. Three measuring instruments were used, namely the Experience of Work and Life Circumstances questionnaire, the Stress questionnaire as well as a biographical questionnaire. Task characteristics, organisational functioning, physical working conditions and job equipment, career and social matters, remuneration, fringe benefits and personnel policy were identified as causes of job stress originating within the work situation. Marital dysfunction and divorce, limited time with the family, problems with children, alcohol and drug abuse, lack of exercise, suicide, anger aimed at family members, physical and emotional exhaustion, lonely marital partners, unavailability to help the family when needed and depression were identified as causes of family stress arising outside the work situation.

Keywords

Job stress; Family stress; Firefighters; Task charateristics; Organisational functioning; Physical conditions and equipment; Career and social matters; Remuneration

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