Article ID: 2020-0192
The present study focuses on social stressors at work and the development of physical symptoms in social workers on a daily basis. In a seven-day diary study it was anticipated that daily rumination functions as a mediator, linked to additional daily physical symptoms in individuals. Before and after work, 81 social workers completed daily questions on social stressors, rumination, and physical symptoms. Multilevel analyses of up to 391 daily measurements revealed that more intense social stressors predicted more rumination, as well as physical symptoms. Rumination anteceded higher physical symptoms. A test of the indirect effects showed a significant indirect path from social stressors at work via rumination to physical symptoms. Hence, it was found that social stressors and rumination contribute to the ongoing health crisis in the social work profession. These findings advance our understanding of the stress mechanisms in social work, as well as point to individual and organizational aspects that occupational health prevention programs should consider.