Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : From 2000 to 2003 a prospective research on work stress was conducted in Belgium. One hypothesis was that besides stress experienced by the worker and induced by local and direct working conditions, additional stress caused by work instability can be identified. In order to take this hypothetical difference into account in our sample, administrative data was used to build a contextual variable relying upon an index of economic sectoral ‘instability’ of employment. Thus 90 semi-structured interviews were conducted in four selected firms presenting contrasted levels of job instability. Additionally, self-administered questionnaires were sent to all workers in these firms. Results issued from the interviews with key informants and from the self-administered questionnaires indicate that our index is a good tool for the selection of firms in terms of instability. Stress appraisal is very congruent across the different sources of information: index of instability, interviews and questionnaires. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.