Acute and chronic job stress, strain, and vacation relief

Dov Eden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Two acutely stressful job events were compared to routine work and to a holiday vacation at home among 29 workers measured four times. The critical job events (CJEs) were the shutdown of a computer and its reopening two weeks later. The CJEs were perceived as more stressful, and aroused greater psychological and physiological strain, than the follow-up period of routine work which served to benchmark chronic job stress. The vacation respite that punctuated the two CJEs was perceived as less stressful than work, but strain was as high during vacation as during work. The unabated strain during the vacation was explained in terms of spillover and vacation stress. The discussion emphasizes the strengthening of causal inference achieved by including occasions of work and nonwork in longitudinal research on the effects of naturally occurring CJEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-193
Number of pages19
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1990


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