Psychosocial Factors Involved in Absenteeism—A Qualitative Analysis in a Brazilian Context


Work is a fundamental activity for human beings not only because it provides the benefit of a wage but also because it allows the subject to draw primitive anxieties that are evoked only in the frame of human-work relations. In Brazilian context, removed workers are often victims of prejudice beyond the organization space, triggering feelings of weakness and uselessness. The absence from work may also jeopardize both physical and mental health. Thus, this study aims to understand the psychosocial factors (social support, affect, coping skills and perception of future and health status) involved in absenteeism and the process of withdrawing work and its consequences on people’s lives. A qualitative approach was chosen for gathering and analyzing data. Four workers from different professional categories participated in this qualitative study. It was observed that stop working brought serious implications for the lives of investigated subjects, who reported feelings of estrangement, fear, emptiness, depression, helplessness and dependence. The most frequent difficulties in relation to absenteeism refer to the part of the tie break of social and financial issues. The main strategy for dealing with problems arising from job withdraws was to seek social support from friends and family. Regarding plans and the prospective, they experienced a critical period (immobilization), requiring a process of (re)adapting to the new situation ahead. Given the above, it is noteworthy to understand that the consequences of absenteeism or temporary withdrawing of labor become a necessary measure to preserve physical and mental health; a task open to interventions of work and organizational psychology.

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Paula, A. V. et al. (2014). Psychosocial Factors Involved in Absenteeism—A Qualitative Analysis in a Brazilian Context. Psychology, 5, 808-818.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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