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Are you a workaholic?
[Posted: Tue 24/04/2012 by Gillian Tsoi www.irishhealth.com]
Are you a workaholic? Now you can find out with a new scale for measuring work addiction, developed by psychological experts.
The Bergen Work Addiction Scale - developed by Norwegian and UK researchers - is based on core elements of addiction that are recognised as diagnostic criteria for several addictions.
Some people seem to be driven to work excessively and compulsively and are referred to as work addicts - or workaholics.
In modern society, new technology and blurred boundaries between work and private life have resulted in more and more people becoming addicted to their work.
A number of studies show that work addiction has been associated with insomnia, health problems, burnout and stress as well as creating conflict between work and family life.
Dr Cecilie Schou Andreassen from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bergen (UiB) led the team that has developed the new instrument, which is the first of its kind worldwide.
By using the scale, people can find out their degree of work addiction: non-addicted, mildly addicted or workaholic.
Over 12,000 Norwegian employees from 25 different industries participated in the development of the new scale.
It reflects the seven core elements of addiction: salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, relapse and problems.
The scale can reliably differentiate between workaholics and non-workaholics.
The Bergen Work Addiction Scale uses seven basic criteria to identify work addiction, where all statements below are scored on the following scale: never, rarely, sometimes, often and always:
• You think of how you can free up more time to work
• You spend much more time working than initially intended
• You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression
• You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them
• You become stressed if you are prohibited from working
• You deprioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and exercise because of your work
• You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.
If you score "often" or "always" on at least four of the seven statements, you may be a workaholic.
The new scale may add value to work addiction research and practice, particularly when it comes to facilitating treatment and estimating prevalence of work addiction in the general population worldwide, according to Dr Andreassen.
The Bergen Work Addiction Scale is presented in an article in the renowned Scandinavian Journal of Psychology.
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