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 Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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