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Document Type

Article

Abstract

Studies have shown that work-related fatigue often negatively impacts night-shift workers' health, feelings of stress, their social relationships, and cognitive processes. This study was designed to compare day- and night- shift workers' perceptions of their experiences and their performance on simple memory tasks. Participants (n = 120), half of whom worked the "graveyard" shift, were asked to complete a series of self-rating scales, followed by four memory tasks. Results showed that across nearly all measures, night-shift employees rated themselves more negatively than day-shift workers. Specifically, night-shift employees' scores indicated high levels of physical stress symptoms and daily stress, loneliness and depression, and low self-esteem. These workers also preformed more slowly and less accurately on the memory tasks than dayworkers. Concerns for the risks these employees' faces, as well as risks potentially faced by those left in their charges, are discussed.

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