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RR308 - Ethnicity, work characteristics, stress and health

The purpose of the report is to investigate the prevalence of reported occupational stress and psychiatric disorder in Black Caribbean, Asian and White workers and to understand the reasons for differences in occupational stress between ethnic groups. In an earlier study, the Bristol Stress andHealth at Work Study, 30% of the non-White group reported very high, or extremely high, levels of stress at work compared to 18% of white workers. It is important to understand why there were excess stress levels in ethnic minority workers but it was not possible to pursue this further as the proportion of non-White workers in the Bristol sample was small. Conclusion - the combination of racial discrimination with gender and ethnicity is powerfully influential in work stress. This makes particular groups (such as Black Caribbean women who have experienced racial discrimination) more likely to experience work stress. Tackling racial discrimination at work, by creating an inclusive, supportive and open workplace, would impact on work stress, and would in turn reduce the potential for psychological damage.

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Updated 2010-03-19