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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Stevenson, Joan C.

Second Advisor

Hammond, Joyce D., 1950-

Third Advisor

Everson, Phillip Mark


Experiencing stress in the work environment is common for most occupations, and some occupations experience more work-related stress than others. Environmental factors including lighting, temperature, air quality and noise, can affect workers' stress levels in subtle ways often overlooked during typical workrelated stress evaluations. The present study examines the relationship between these environmental factors and their effects on the stress levels of corrections officers. Survey respondents (N=45) evaluated two correctional facilities in the Pacific Northwest for environmental quality and the incidence of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptoms such as headache, fatigue, nausea, lethargy and other health-related issues. Baseline environmental measurements and facility environmental standards were compared with survey results to evaluate officers' experience of stress from the workplace environment. Results indicate that environmental factors may affect officers' stress levels and their experience of SBS symptoms to a greater degree than is currently discussed in the literature. Future studies should attempt to further refine these relationships, as a better understanding of them will help correctional administrators decrease workplace stress, absenteeism and attrition.




Correctional personnel--Job stress, Work environment, Work--Environmental aspects, Human engineering, Sick building syndrome


Western Washington University

OCLC Number



masters theses




Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

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