In this series of article reviews, we will dissect the latest research papers important to mental health education and advocacy.

July 23, 2023 – 5 min read

Today, we will be reviewing the paper Anxiety, Work, and Coping by Ralph A. Mortensen.

Introduction to Article

Ralph Mortensen wrote this article in 2014 to study anxiety’s effects on work-related outcomes. The author wrote this in the aftermath of major financial recessions, as research on this subject has been limited. The author indicates that a base level of anxiety aids in work-related performance, so the study aims to determine its effects beyond that point.


The author briefly summarizes the body of research concerning the link between anxiety and work-related outcomes. These studies include clinical trials as well as survey results from members of the workforce.


Research has found that anxiety can affect job satisfaction. Employees with higher anxiety levels are less satisfied with their jobs and more likely to seek a new career should it persist. Employees with higher anxiety levels are also less likely to set goals and achieve production targets. Anxiety also affects relationships with coworkers as the affected employee is more likely to be perceived negatively by their employees and bosses. Anxiety also negatively affects job performance at all levels.

Our Concerns

One of the major issues with the article is that it did not go into detail to describe how anxiety is defined. It offers the nebulous definition that one’s sense of self is affected, yet it is not defined beyond this point. Without a clear definition of anxiety, it may be hard to apply the results of the relevant studies to the general population.

ARE U Takeaways

  • Rates of anxiety have increased to significant levels throughout the workforce and the trend will likely continue in a post-pandemic era.
  • Understanding the effect anxiety has on employees will give managers a greater understanding of what they should do to support the mental well-being of their employees and encourage productivity in the workforce.


Mortensen, R. (2014). Anxiety, work, and coping.The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 17(3), 178–181.