Stress and psychological wellbeing in local humanitarian workers in Colombia working for a local non-governmental organization : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
This study examined the differences in stress and psychological wellbeing in 75 local humanitarian personnel (70 females and 5 males, median age = 30.7) from "Fundacion CC", local non-governmental organisation from Medellin, Colombia, who worked either in the field, with the communities they help, or in an administrative facility, doing managerial and planning types of work. Participants answered the Stress Profile questionnaire in order to assess the impact of background variables such as place of work and age, and variables theoretically associated to the processes of stress such as social support, cognitive hardiness and coping styles, on their current levels of stress and psychological wellbeing. Despite increasing worldwide evidence showing the significant impacts of humanitarian work in the field on stress and mental health of humanitarian staff, all participants consistently showed low levels of stress and high levels of psychological wellbeing regardless of place of work and any other differences among them. Additionally, this study showed that variables theorized in the literature as relevant to stress were instead more significant to assess psychological wellbeing in the sample of participants. Results and implications were discussed within the guidelines of transactional models of stress.