Spanish Researchers Create New Work Addiction Scale

While most people probably call to mind certain substances like alcohol or habits involving gambling or smoking when thinking about addiction, there are some addictive behaviors that might be mistaken for positive in certain situations. Certainly among these, work addiction may manifest as an increased dedication to efficiency or personal work production, but close investigation is likely to find a host of psychological unrest as well as potential physical health issues related to the behavior. Intent on helping therapists and other professionals better understand and identify work addiction, a research team from Jaume I University in Spain recently developed a scale for scoring different beliefs and behaviors to determine the presence and severity of work addiction.

The scale, dubbed the DUWAS, or Dutch Work Addiction Scale, may prove to be a better indicator than pre-existing models including the WorkBAT, or Workaholism Batter, and the WART, or Work Addiction Risk Test. The DUWAS is hoped to be successful in removing the potential element of anxiety surrounding the time involved in completing the test, something which may have an impact on the emotional response of clients when faced with a detraction from their time to work. The scale is focused on measuring the two primary elements of work addiction, which the study’s lead author describes as working both excessively and in a compulsive manner.

Work addiction is thought to affect somewhere around ten percent of the population in many countries, and may be characterized by the devotion of over twelve hours a day or fifty hours per week to one’s job. Feelings of job insecurity, tense relationships with supervisors, and other common workplace stressors are thought to contribute to the manifestation and continuation of work addiction.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • charlie V.

    charlie V.

    March 26th, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    too much of anything is bad…whether the thing is good or bad…

    for example,charity is good but doing so in large proportions is just so unwise…not that I know of somebody who does,just for illustration ;)

  • Nichole Wilkerson

    Nichole Wilkerson

    March 26th, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    I have a friend who is just addicted to his work…he was not the same even until two years ago when he took up a new job at his present company.He was required to work long hours there and he did so for promise of a better future…he has had his share of promotions and increments now but his family complain about him not devoting enough time for them and he does not hang out with friends more than once in a blue moon.

  • I.Vincent

    I.Vincent

    March 29th, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    it is better to be working a normal amount of time and earning a decent amount rather than over-working and earning a lot more…its just not worth it…after all,there are more things to life than just working and accumulating money!

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