Stress prevention training: Sex differences in types of stressors, coping, and training effects

Marrie H.J. Bekker*, Angelique Nijssen, Gonnie Hens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present study was aimed at examining the effectiveness of preventive group training and sex differences in types of work stressors, coping strategies, and training effects. Sixty-eight trainees of stress prevention courses of Regional Institutions for Ambulatory Mental Health Care (RIAGGs) in the Netherlands took part in the study before training (T1), 36 of them after the training (T2), and 3 months later 24 of them (T3). For controlling time effects, a non-training group was used as the control which had not sought help at a RIAGG nor suffered from stress complaints. Questionnaires were administered at all three time intervals, reflecting health, stress, coping, personality, and perceived job (context) characteristics. After training (T2), the trainees reported significantly less psychological and somatic complaints, less stress, a lower need for recovery after work, the use of more active coping and social support seeking, and a higher capability for managing new situations. The positive effects were maintained at T3. The control group showed no differences between T1 and T2. Women compared with men reported to have less executive tasks and possibilities in their jobs, and less participation and autonomy. Training effects were not affected by being male or female. However, before, as well as after training, women suffered from more health and stress complaints. Future training programmes might be improved by paying attention to sex differences in antecedents as well as consequences of work-related stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalStress and health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Coping
  • Evaluation
  • Gender
  • Mental health care
  • Prevention
  • Training
  • Work stress


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