Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Health Science (Honours)


School of Nursing


Western Australian College of Advanced Education

First Supervisor

Ruth McKay


A population of two hundred and twenty nurses involved in direct patient care in a regional hospital were surveyed to assess if a relationship exists between occupational and life stress. A cross sectional survey design was used. The questionnaire contained four distinct categories: demographic information, Nurses' Stress Scale, a Life Events Inventory and a social support scale. A return rate of 49.5% was obtained, and several completed questionnaires were rejected, leaving the data from 1.04 questionnaires to be analysed. The nurses in this population reported low scores tor both occupational and life stress. However, the instrument used to calculate the occupational stress levels did not prove to be reliable for this population, as indicated by a low Cronbach's alpha score. A Pearson's correlation analysis was computed for all of the variables studied. The only significant correlation found was life stress with occupational stress (r = .23 with p = .01~. Multiple regression using the maximum R2 method revealed that a combination of three variables; life stress, working· status and social support accounted for 7.6% of the variance tor the dependent variable occupational stress (p=.05).