The objective of this study was to explore the relationship between occupational stress and locus of control, to analyse and investigate the nature of nurses’ work and to determine the sources of stress and how they influence the nurses’ work environment and personal lives. The Work and Life Circumstances Questionnaire (WLQ) and Rotter’s 23-item scale were applied in a probability, simple random sample consisting of 302 South African nursing students and nurses currently employed in the private and public healthcare sector. Significant relationships were observed between the variables. Supporting evidence indicates that there is a negative correlation between occupational stress and locus of control. The results further indicate significant differences among the different locus of control orientations and the participants perceived level of stress; as well as a difference in the correlations between occupational stress and demographics such as marital status, working time and occupational level. Finally, the researcher was able to determine which stressors cause the highest level of stress among the participants. The findings should contribute valuable new information to the employee well-being literature and human resource management practices relating to employee assistance programmes, employee well-being and the retention of staff, especially in the healthcare sector. Copyright
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2011.