Psychophysiological Stress Reactions in Female and Male Urban Bus Drivers

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Male and female urban bus drivers were studied at work during everyday bus driving in urban traffic (work condition) and watching educational programs (comparison condition). The results showed that (a) both sexes had significantly higher adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol excretion levels during work than during the comparison session; (b) during work and inactivity, there were no significant sex differences in hormone excretion for either hormone; (c) the percentage increase during work compared with control levels for all hormones was equally high in the female group as in the male group; and (d) there were no significant sex differences in self-reported mood (distress, well-being, control) during bus driving. The results are discussed in terms of type and intensity of stressors, gender differences in costs of adaptation, preventive measures, and the role of social influences in psychoneuroendocrine regulation.

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