A NEW quantitative approach TO MEASURE PERCEIVED WORK-RELATED STRESS IN ITALIAN EMPLOYEES By Cevenini, G. , Fratini, I. , & Gambassi, R. (2012) Cevenini, Fratini, and Gambassi (2012) goal was to give accurate quantification of what participants perceived occupational stress to be. Their study is a new quantitative approach of questionnaire data collection and analysis. They chose a statistical multivariate procedure. Their aim was to obtain a one-dimensional estimation of occupational stress which would guide psychologist through intervention strategies to protect workers’ health and safety (Cevenini, Fratini, & Gambassi, 2012).
Methods Cevenini, Fratini, and Gambassi (2012) shortened their questionnaire by using the principal component analysis. PCA was performed by rotating the solutions with Varimax method and Kaiser Normalization (Velicer, 1990).
Cevenini, Fratini, and Gambassi (2012) provided a score for each of the six stress dimensions. This was useful to characterize the different types of stress perceived by the employees. The risk scores were gathered by multivariate statists’ procedures that sequentially combined a clustering technique with linear discriminant analysis (Krzanowski, 1988).
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Assumption of the linear discriminant function as risk score, was expressed as a percentage of the whole score range. Cronbach’s analysis was performed by Cevenini, Fratini, and Gambassi (2012) to test their statistical consistency and reliability (Gonbach & Shavelson, 2004).
A one-dimensional quantitative description of each aspect was obtained using the same clustering approach as for risk scores by maximizing the discrimination level between low and high values of D, R and S, detected by empirical data through non-hierarchical cluster analysis.
The solution of the associated linearized system gave: ? 0 = 120, ^ = 0. 08654 and ? 2 = 0. 00561. Under the hypothesis of equal distribution for responders and non-responders, the lack of any statistically significant differences between training and testing data for the stress index (Mann-Whitney test, ? = 0. 897) indicated good model generalization capacity. Median and interquartile values (in brackets) were 0. 133 (-1. 363-0. 853) and 0. 035 (-1. 097-0. 875), respectively.
Linear discriminate was applied to the axes scores to find the two discriminant functions and F2. They provide optimal linear separation between each pairs of the three empirically-identified clusters of workers representing the three modeled stress states. In other words, fx and ^ define two discriminant dimensions that allow the best distinction between homogeneous groups of different actual perceptions about occupational stress by Italian employees. Results
After receiving a refusal rate for telephone interviews Cevenini, Fratini, and Gambassi (2012) observed 72%, making that a total of 8639 telephone contacts needed to complete the stratified sample of 2419 Italian employees. This process took two months. Their study had a 95% confidence interval of sampling error, of less than 2% of the whole variation range of stress index. In using the PCA to reduce the questionnaire items calculated about 81% expanded variance of the whole phenomenon. Cronbach analysis proved to be most reliable for the model axes, which confirmed the good selection of Delphi group.
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