Little is known about the association between job stress and job performance among surgeons, although physicians' well-being could be regarded as an important quality indicator. This paper examines associations between psychosocial job stress and perceived health care quality among German clinicians in surgery.
Survey data of 1,311 surgeons from 489 hospitals were analysed. Psychosocial stress at work was measured by the effort-reward imbalance model (ERI) and the demand-control model (job strain). The quality of health care was evaluated by physicians' self-assessed performance, service quality and error frequency. Data were collected in a nationwide standardised mail survey. 53% of the contacted hospitals sent back the questionnaire; the response rate of the clinicians in the participating hospitals was about 65%. To estimate the association between job stress and quality of care multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted.
Clinicians exposed to job stress have an increased risk of reporting suboptimal quality of care. Magnitude of the association varies depending on the respective job stress model and the indicator of health care quality used. Odds ratios, adjusted for gender, occupational position and job experience vary between 1.04 (CI 0.70-1.57) and 3.21 (CI 2.23-4.61).
Findings indicate that theoretical models of psychosocial stress at work can enrich the analysis of effects of working conditions on health care quality. Moreover, results suggest interventions for job related health promotion measures to improve the clinicians' working conditions, their quality of care and their patients' health.
Taiwan’s National Defense Bureau has been merging its hospitals and adjusting hospital accreditation levels since the beginning of 2006. These changes have introduced many stressors to the healthcare workers in these hospitals. This study investigates the association between job stress, psychological morbidity and quality of life in healthcare workers in three military hospitals.
We posted surveys to 1269 healthcare workers in three military hospitals located in southern Taiwan. The surveys included the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF), and the Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) Questionnaire. High effort-reward (ER) ratio and overcommitment were defined when scores fell into the upper tertile of the total distribution.
The survey was completed by 791 healthcare workers. On average, women reported a higher ERI than men. High ERI was associated with younger age, higher psychological morbidity, and poor physical and psychological QOL domains in this population. High ER ratio and high overcommitment were associated with psychological morbidity and poor QOL in both sexes. However, high ER ratio was not significantly associated with the social QOL domain in either sexes or the physical QOL domain in males.
There was a clear association between ERI and QOL in the healthcare workers in the military hospitals under reorganization and accreditation in this study. We found ER ratio and overcommitment to be suitable indicators of job stress.
Effort-reward imbalance; GHQ; Overcommitment; WHOQOL-BREF
In most countries, the financial service sector has undergone great organizational changes in the past decades, with potential negative impact on bank workers' mental health. The aim of this paper is to estimate the prevalence of minor psychiatric disorders (MPD) among Brazilian bank workers and to investigate whether they are associated with an adverse psychosocial working environment.
A cross-sectional study of a random sample of 2,500 workers in a Brazilian state bank in 2008. The presence of MPD was determined by the General Health Questionnaire.(GHQ). Psychosocial work conditions were assessed by means of the Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) and Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ). The presence and magnitude of the independent associations between MPD and adverse psychosocial working conditions were determined by Prevalence Ratios, obtained by Poisson regression.
From 2,337 eligible workers, 88% participated. The prevalence of MPD was greater among women (45% vs. 41%; p > 0.05). In the multivariate analysis, the prevalence of MPD was twice as high among bank workers exposed to high psychological demand and low control at work and under high effort and low reward working conditions. The lack of social support at work and the presence of over-commitment were also associated with higher prevalence of MPD. A negative interaction effect was found between over-commitment and effort-reward imbalance.
The prevalence of MPD is high among bank workers. The results reinforce the association between MPD and adverse psychosocial working conditions, assessed by the JCQ and ERI models. The direction of the interaction observed between over-commitment and ERI was contrary to what was expected.
Purpose. To perform a parsimonious measurement of workplace psychosocial stress in routine occupational health surveillance, this study tests the psychometric properties of a short version of the original Italian effort-reward imbalance (ERI) questionnaire. Methods. 1,803 employees (63 percent women) from 19 service companies in the Italian region of Latium participated in a cross-sectional survey containing the short version of the ERI questionnaire (16 items) and questions related to self-reported health, musculoskeletal complaints and job satisfaction. Exploratory factor analysis, internal consistency of scales and criterion validity were utilized. Results. The internal consistency of scales was satisfactory. Principal component analysis enabled to identify the model's main factors. Significant associations with health and job satisfaction in the majority of cases support the notion of criterion validity. A high score on the effort-reward ratio was associated with an elevated odds ratio (OR = 2.71; 95% CI 1.86–3.95) of musculoskeletal complaints in the upper arm. Conclusions. The short form of the Italian ERI questionnaire provides a psychometrically useful tool for routine occupational health surveillance, although further validation is recommended.
Management of job satisfaction is of growing importance in terms of the maintenance of employees’ health. This study aimed to evaluate which and to what extent facets of job satisfaction contributed to global job satisfaction.
The participants were 4286 employees aged 18–69 years working in local government in Japan. A questionnaire survey was conducted in 1998–1999. Seven facets of job satisfaction were evaluated. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate which facets of job satisfaction contributed to global job satisfaction.
For all employees, all of the facets of job satisfaction significantly contributed to global job satisfaction. Among the facets of job satisfaction, ‘being satisfied with interests and skills involved in work’ and ‘how abilities were used’ contributed more strongly to global satisfaction than ‘being satisfied with how the section is running’, ‘co-workers’, ‘work prospects’, ‘physical working conditions’ and ‘payment’. The differing associations of facets of job satisfaction with global job satisfaction did not change substantially in stratified analysis by occupation, with one exception that only three facets of job satisfaction contributed to global job satisfaction in administrative workers.
Job satisfaction related to the intrinsic aspects of the job (i.e., ‘interests and skills involved in work’ and ‘how abilities were used’) contributed more to global job satisfaction than the other aspects of job satisfaction. Longitudinal research in employees with various occupations may be needed to confirm the results of this study.
Job satisfaction; Occupation; Working environments; The JACS study; Japan
Aims: To examine whether a stressful psychosocial work environment predicts alcohol dependence.
Methods: Alcohol dependence of participants in the Whitehall II occupational cohort of London based civil servants (1985–88) was measured in 1991–93 using the CAGE questionnaire. The psychosocial work environment was measured by self report questions on the job demand-support-control model and on the model of effort-reward imbalance. Potential mediators including physical illness and poor mental health (GHQ) were measured at follow up in 1989.
Results: Effort-reward imbalance at work was associated with alcohol dependence in men after adjustment for employment grade and other baseline factors related to alcohol dependence. Although effort-reward imbalance predicted future longstanding illness, poor mental health and negative aspects of close relationships, the association between effort-reward imbalance and alcohol dependence in men was only partially mediated through these health and social support measures. In women, low decision latitude was related to alcohol dependence to some extent, but alcohol dependence among women was more prevalent in higher occupational grades. Men with high job demands or with low work social supports had a slightly reduced risk of alcohol dependence. No association was found between objectively assessed demands, job control, and alcohol dependence in either men or women.
Conclusion: A stressful psychosocial work environment in terms of effort-reward imbalance was found to be a risk factor for alcohol dependence in men. In view of the public health importance of alcohol dependence in working populations these findings call for more emphasis on psychosocial factors in occupational health research and prevention.
To examine the relationship between job strain and two indicators of mental health, depression and alcohol misuse, among currently employed older adults.
Data come from the 2004 and 2006 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (N = 2,902). Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to determine the association between job strain, indicated by the imbalance of job stress and job satisfaction, with depression and alcohol misuse.
High job strain (indicated by high job stress combined with low job satisfaction) was associated with elevated depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR] = 2.98, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.99–4.45) relative to low job strain after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, labor force status, and occupation. High job stress combined with high job satisfaction (OR = 1.93) and low job stress combined with low job satisfaction (OR = 1.94) were also associated with depressive symptoms to a lesser degree. Job strain was unrelated to either moderate or heavy drinking. These associations did not vary by gender or age.
Job strain is associated with elevated depressive symptoms among older workers. In contrast to results from investigations of younger workers, job strain was unrelated to alcohol misuse. These findings can inform the development and implementation of workplace health promotion programs that reflect the mental health needs of the aging workforce.
Aging workforce; Alcohol misuse; Depression; Job strain
Objectives: Associations between two alternative formulations of job stress derived from the effort-reward imbalance and the job strain model and first non-fatal acute myocardial infarction were studied. Whereas the job strain model concentrates on situational (extrinsic) characteristics the effort-reward imbalance model analyses distinct person (intrinsic) characteristics in addition to situational ones. In view of these conceptual differences the hypothesis was tested that combining information from the two models improves the risk estimation of acute myocardial infarction.
Methods: 951 male and female myocardial infarction cases and 1147 referents aged 45–64 years of The Stockholm Heart Epidemiology (SHEEP) case-control study underwent a clinical examination. Information on job stress and health adverse behaviours was derived from standardised questionnaires.
Results: Multivariate analysis showed moderately increased odds ratios for either model. Yet, with respect to the effort-reward imbalance model gender specific effects were found: in men the extrinsic component contributed to risk estimation, whereas this was the case with the intrinsic component in women. Controlling each job stress model for the other in order to test the independent effect of either approach did not show systematically increased odds ratios. An improved estimation of acute myocardial infarction risk resulted from combining information from the two models by defining groups characterised by simultaneous exposure to effort-reward imbalance and job strain (men: odds ratio 2.02 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.34 to 3.07); women odds ratio 2.19 (95% CI 1.11 to 4.28)).
Conclusions: Findings show an improved risk estimation of acute myocardial infarction by combining information from the two job stress models under study. Moreover, gender specific effects of the two components of the effort-reward imbalance model were observed.
There is long-term interest in the effects of stress on health, due to the strain that it places on individuals which can lead to an increased risk of disease. The present study examined degree of perceived job stress related to incidents reporting rate and its dimensions among workers’ Isfahan Steel Company.
A self-administered anonymous was distributed to 189 workers. The survey included demographic factors, incidents reporting rate and its components (physical symptoms, psychological symptoms and accidents) and the Job Stress Questionnaire. The data were analyzed by multivariate (MANOVA) and correlation techniques.
1) there was internal significant correlation between perceived job stress with incident reporting rate as well as with its two components namely physical symptoms and psychological symptoms; 2) there was not a significant relationship between perceived job stress and accident; 2) In multivariate analysis, perceived job stress respectively about 12%, 18% and 19% of the variance of variables of incidents reporting rate, physical and psychological symptoms significantly predicted (P< 0.05).
Perceived job stress influences to physical and psychological symptoms. Therefore, decreasing job stress can be important to prevent the development of stress-related diseases and to promote workers health.
Perceived job stress; Incident reporting rate; Physical symptoms; Psychological symptoms; Accident
Study objective: To examine health, job satisfaction, and behavioural risks as antecedents of selection from fixed term to permanent employment.
Design: Prospective cohort study of change in employment contract during a two year period. Self reported health, recorded sickness absence, job satisfaction, behavioural risks, demographics, and occupational characteristics were assessed at baseline.
Setting: Hospital staff in two Finnish hospital districts.
Participants: A cohort of 526 hospital employees (54 men, 472 women) aged 20 to 58 years with a fixed term job contract at baseline.
Main results: During the follow up period, 137 became permanently employed. Men, employees in higher positions, full time workers, and those with five to eight years in the employ of the hospital were more likely to become permanently employed. After adjusting for these factors, obtaining a permanent job contract was predicted by self rated good health (odds ratio (OR) 3.90; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.34 to 11.36), non-caseness of psychological distress (OR 1.80; 95% CI 1.01 to 3.20), high job satisfaction (OR 1.86; CI 1.17 to 2.94), and non-sedentary life style (OR 2.64; CI 1.29 to 5.41), compared with the rest of the cohort.
Conclusions: Investigation of fixed term employees yields new information about selective mechanisms in employment mobility. Good health seems to promote the chances for a fixed term employee to reach a better labour market status. These results correspond to earlier research on selective mechanisms in other forms of employment mobility and provide a partial explanation for the socioeconomic gradient of health.
We hypothesise that due to a lower quality of working life and higher job insecurity, the health and work-related attitudes of temporary workers may be less positive compared to permanent workers. Therefore, we aimed to (1) examine differences between contract groups (i.e. permanent contract, temporary contract with prospect of permanent work, fixed-term contract, temporary agency contract and on-call contract) in the quality of working life, job insecurity, health and work-related attitudes and (2) investigate whether these latter contract group differences in health and work-related attitudes can be explained by differences in the quality of working life and/or job insecurity.
Data were collected from the Netherlands Working Conditions Survey 2008 (N = 21,639), and Hypotheses were tested using analysis of variance and cross-table analysis.
Temporary work was associated with fewer task demands and lower autonomy and was more often passive or high-strain work, while permanent work was more often active work. Except for on-call work, temporary work was more insecure and associated with worse health and work-related attitude scores than permanent work. Finally, the quality of working life and job insecurity partly accounted for most contract differences in work-related attitudes but not in health.
Especially agency workers have a lower health status and worse work-related attitudes. Job redesign measures regarding their quality of working life and job insecurity are recommended.
Labour contracts; Quality of working life; Job insecurity; Health; Job attitudes
Aims: To determine whether an increase in effort-reward imbalance over time increases the risk of angina, and whether such increases are associated with lower occupational position.
Methods: Effort-reward imbalance (ERI) at work was measured in the Whitehall II occupational cohort of London based civil servants at baseline (1985–88) and in 1997. Coronary heart disease was measured in a self-reported health questionnaire by combining the Rose Angina Questionnaire with doctor diagnosed angina in 2001.
Results: Among men, increase in ERI over time was associated with an increased risk of incident angina. Moreover, as increases in ERI were more common among lower grade civil servants, change in imbalance, to some extent, contributed to explaining the social gradient in angina. Among women, increases in imbalance were not associated with risk of angina, and therefore did not contribute to the explanation of the social gradient.
Conclusions: Reductions in effort-reward imbalance at work may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease among men.
This cross-sectional study explored relationships between psychosocial work environment, captured by job demand-control (JDC) and effort-reward imbalance (ERI), and seven cardiovascular heart disease (CHD) risk factors in a general population.
The sampled consists of randomly-selected men and women from Gothenburg, Sweden and the city’s surrounding metropolitan areas. Associations between psychosocial variables and biomarkers were analysed with multiple linear regression adjusted for age, smoking, education and occupational status.
The study included 638 men and 668 women aged 24–71. Analysis between JDC and CHD risk factors illustrated that, for men, JDC was associated with impaired scores in several biomarkers, especially among those in high strain jobs. For women, there were no relationships between JDC and biomarkers. In the analysis of links between ERI and CHD risk factors, most associations tested null. The only findings were raised triglycerides and BMI among men in the fourth quartile of the ERI-ratio distribution, and lowered LDL-cholesterol for women. An complementary ERI analysis, combining high/low effort and reward into categories, illustrated lowered triglycerides and elevated HDL-cholesterol values among women reporting high efforts and high rewards, compared to women experiencing low effort and high reward.
There were some associations between psychosocial stressors and CHD risk factors. The cross-sectional design did not allow conclusions about causality but some results indicated gender differences regarding sensitivity to work stressors and also how the models might capture different psychosocial dimensions.
Psychosocial work environment; Cardiovascular heart disease risk factors; Job demand-control; Effort-reward imbalance; Gender
The aim of this study was to validate a Norwegian version of the Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire (ERI-Q).
One thousand eight-hundred and three employees in a medium-sized Norwegian municipality replied to the ERI-Q, and health-related variables such as self-reported general health, psychological distress, musculoskeletal complaints, and work-related burnout were examined.
Sound psychometric properties were found for this Norwegian version of the ERI-Q. When the two dimensions of ERI and overcommitment were analyzed in four types of employees, the results showed that employees characterized by a combination of high values on ERI and overcommitment had more unfavorable health scores than others. Employees with low effort-reward and overcommitment scores had more favorable health scores. Employees with scores on the overcommitment and the effort-reward scales that are supposed to have opposite effects on health (that is, the combination of low overcommitment with a high effort-reward score and vice versa), had health scores somewhere in between the two other groups.
Satisfactory psychometric properties were found for most of the latent factors in the ERI-Q. The findings also indicate that it may be fruitful to explore health conditions among employees with different combinations of effort-reward and overcommitment.
Previous research fails to address whether contingent employment benefits individuals’ careers more than the alternative they often face: being without a job. Using work history data from Japan, this study shows that accepting a contingent job delays individuals’ transition to standard employment more than remaining jobless. Moreover, having a contingent job, rather than having no job, leads Japanese men to have lower occupational status after they transition back to standard employment. I argue that in a highly segmented labor market like Japan’s, the strict separation of labor pools for standard and contingent jobs makes being labeled as a contingent worker particularly detrimental. Meanwhile, the legacy of Japan’s welfare corporatism alleviates the stigma of unemployment, making individuals better off jobless than having a contingent job. This research thus demonstrates the importance of labor-market contexts in shaping the scarring effects of contingent work arrangements.
STUDY OBJECTIVES—To examine whether psychosocial factors at work are related to self rated health in post-communist countries.
DESIGN AND SETTINGS—Random samples of men and women in five communities in four countries were sent a postal questionnaire (Poland, Czech Republic and Lithuania) or were invited to an interview (Hungary). Working subjects (n=3941) reported their self rated health in the past 12 months (5 point scale), their socioeconomic circumstances, perceived control over life, and the following aspects of the psychosocial work environment: job control, job demand, job variety, social support, and effort and reward at work (to calculate a ratio of effort/reward imbalance). As the results did not differ by country, pooled analyses were performed. Odds ratios of poor or very poor health ("poor health") were estimated for a 1 SD increase in the scores of work related factors.
MAIN RESULTS—The overall prevalence of poor health was 6% in men and 7% in women. After controlling for age, sex and community, all work related factors were associated with poor health (p<0.05). After further adjustment for perceived control, only two work related factors remained associated with poor health; the odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for 1 SD increase in the effort/reward ratio (log transformed) and job variety were 1.51 (1.29, 1.78) and 0.82 (0.73, 1.00), respectively. Further adjustment for all work related factors did not change these estimates. There were no interactions between individual work related factors, but the effects of job control and social support at work differed by marital status, and the odds ratio of job demand increased with increasing education.
CONCLUSIONS—The continuous measure of effort/reward imbalance at work was a powerful determinant of self rated health in these post-communist populations. Although the cross sectional design does not allow firm conclusions as to causality, this study suggests that the effect of the psychosocial work environment is not confined to Western populations.
Keywords: self rated health; psychosocial work characteristics; effort-reward imbalance
This study tests associations between psychosocial stress at work measured by the effort-reward imbalance model in a dynamic perspective, and multiple indicators of poor mental health, in a prospective design.
1986 male and female employees from four Belgian enterprises were followed-up over one year within the framework of the Somstress study. Based on two consecutive measurements, an index of cumulative job stress was constructed and its associations with five indicators of mental health were studied, excluding caseness at entry (for depression, anxiety, somatisation, chronic fatigue and psychotropic drug consumption respectively). Taking into account the longitudinal design, four categories of job stress are defined: 1) employees free from stress at both measures, 2) job stress present at first measure but not at the second one, 3) recent onset of job stress as evidenced by second measure 4) workers exposed to stress at both measures. Multivariate logistic regression with appropriate adjustments was applied.
In bivariate analysis, a clear graded association of cumulative job stress with all five mental health indicators is observed, both in men and women. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, recent onset of stress is strongly associated with poor mental health among men (odds ratios ranging from 1.8 to 4.6), while cumulative stress shows strongest effects on mental health in women (odds ratios ranging from 1.4 to 7.1).
Cumulative experience and recent onset of job stress in terms of high effort spent and low reward received is associated with elevated risk of all five indicators of poor mental health at follow-up in a large cohort of employees.
Recently socioeconomic status (SES) and job stress index received more attention to affect mental health. Folate intake has been implicated to have negative association with depression. However, few studies were published for the evidence association together with the consideration of SES and job stress factors. The current study is a part of the Japanese study of Health, Occupation and Psychosocial factors related Equity (J-HOPE study) that focused on the association of social stratification and health and our objective was to clarify the association between folate intake and depressive symptoms in Japanese general workers.
Subjects were 2266 workers in a Japanese nationwide company. SES and job stress factors were assessed by self-administered questionnaire. Folate intake was estimated by a validated, brief, self-administered diet history questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were measured by Kessler’s K6 questionnaire. “Individuals with depressive symptoms” was defined as K6≧9 (in K6 score of 0–24 scoring system). Multiple logistic regression and linear regression model were used to evaluate the association between folate and depressive symptoms.
Several SES factors (proportion of management positions, years of continuous employment, and annual household income) and folate intake were found to be significantly lower in the subjects with depressive symptom (SES factors: p < 0.001; folate intake: P = 0.001). There was an inverse, independent linear association between K6 score and folate intake after adjusting for age, sex, job stress scores (job strains, worksite supports), and SES factors (p = 0.010). The impact of folate intake on the prevalence of depressive symptom by a multiple logistic model was (ORs[95% CI]: 0.813 [0.664-0.994]; P =0.044).
Our cross-sectional study suggested an inverse, independent relation of energy-adjusted folate intake with depression score and prevalence of depressive symptoms in Japanese workers, together with the consideration of SES and job stress factors.
This paper reports on results of a newly developed questionnaire for the assessment of effort-reward imbalance (ERI) in unpaid household and family work. Methods: Using a cross-sectional population-based survey of German mothers (n = 3129) the dimensional structure of the theoretical ERI model was validated by means of Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). Analyses of Variance were computed to examine relationships between ERI and social factors and health outcomes.
CFA revealed good psychometric properties indicating that the subscale 'effort' is based on one latent factor and the subscale 'reward' is composed of four dimensions: 'intrinsic value of family and household work', 'societal esteem', 'recognition from the partner', and 'affection from the child(ren)'. About 19.3% of mothers perceived lack of reciprocity and 23.8% showed high rates of overcommitment in terms of inability to withdraw from household and family obligations. Socially disadvantaged mothers were at higher risk of ERI, in particular with respect to the perception of low societal esteem. Gender inequality in the division of household and family work and work-family conflict accounted most for ERI in household and family work. Analogous to ERI in paid work we could demonstrate that ERI affects self-rated health, somatic complaints, mental health and, to some extent, hypertension.
The newly developed questionnaire demonstrates satisfied validity and promising results for extending the ERI model to household and family work.
effort-reward imbalance; household and family work; women; health
Background: Psychosocial factors at work are thought to influence health partly through health behaviours.
Aims: To examine the association between effort-reward imbalance and job control and several alcohol related measures in three eastern European populations.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Novosibirsk (Russia), Krakow (Poland), and Karvina (Czech Republic). The participants completed a questionnaire that included effort-reward at work, job control, and a number of sociodemographic variables. Annual alcohol intake, annual number of drinking sessions, the mean dose of alcohol per drinking session, and binge drinking (⩾80 g of ethanol in one session at least once a week) were based on graduated frequencies in the questionnaire. Data were also available on problem drinking (⩾2 positive answers on CAGE questionnaire) and negative social consequences of drinking. All male participants in full employment (n = 694) were included in the present analyses.
Results: After controlling for age and centre, all indices of alcohol consumption and problem drinking were associated with the effort-reward ratio. Adjustment for material deprivation did not change the results but adjustment for depressive symptoms reduced the estimated effects. Job control was not associated with any of the alcohol related outcomes.
Conclusions: The imbalance of effort-reward at work is associated with increased alcohol intake and problem drinking. The association appears to be partly mediated by depressive symptoms, which might be either an antecedent or a consequence of men's drinking behaviour.
Stress and stress-related illnesses are increasing among medical specialists. This threatens the quality of patient care. In this study we investigated (a) levels of job stress and job satisfaction among medical specialists, (b) factors contributing to stress and satisfaction and (c) the effect of stress and satisfaction on burnout.
A questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 2400 Dutch medical specialists. Measures included job stress, job satisfaction, burnout, personal characteristics, job characteristics and perceived working conditions.
The final response rate was 63%. Of the respondents, 55% acknowledged high levels of stress, and 81% reported high job satisfaction. Personal and job characteristics explained 2%–6% of the variance in job stress and satisfaction. Perceived working conditions were more important, explaining 24% of the variance in job stress and 34% of the variance in job satisfaction. Among perceived working conditions, the interference of work on home life (odds ratio [OR] 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.35–1.76) and not being able to live up to one's professional standards (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.37–1.80) were most related to stress. Feeling poorly managed and resourced (OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.76–2.43) diminished job satisfaction. Burnout was explained by both high stress and low satisfaction (41% of variance explained) rather than by stress alone.
Our study showed a protective effect of job satisfaction against the negative consequences of work stress as well as the importance of organizational rather than personal factors in managing both stress and satisfaction.
After the burst of its “bubble” economy in 1989, Japan experienced an astonishingly long economic recession whose gravity surpassed any seen in the industrialized world since the 1930s. While this recession is likely to have important consequences on the well-known workplace arrangements and career mobility patterns in that country, systematic analyses of such consequences are nearly absent. This study examines changes in the rates and directions of job mobility in Japan using work history data collected in 2005 from a nationally representative sample of men and women. I find evidence that Japanese firms have largely retained the core elements of the permanent employment system. The norm that stresses men’s loyalty to their employers, however, appears to have weakened, resulting in higher voluntary job turnover among male workers. In addition, the gender gap in lifetime mobility processes has narrowed, but not because Japanese women have gained opportunities in the workplace. Rather, economic stagnation has led to greater fluctuations in employment and wages over men’s life course, thereby closing the gender gap. Beyond illustrating the changing stratification process in Japan, the findings have general implications for understanding how economic crises impact employment relations, institutional transformations, and social change in advanced industrialized countries.
Economic crisis; career mobility; permanent employment system; institutional change; Japan
Aims: To determine whether change in employment status (from fixed term to permanent employment) is followed by changes in work, health, health related behaviours, and sickness absence.
Methods: Prospective cohort study with four year follow up. Data from 4851 (710 male, 4141 female) hospital employees having a fixed term or permanent job contract on entry to the study were collected at baseline and follow up.
Results: At baseline, compared to permanent employees, fixed term employees reported lower levels of workload, job security, and job satisfaction. They also reported greater work ability. All fixed term employees had a lower rate of medically certified sickness absence at baseline. Baseline rate ratios for those who remained fixed term were 0.64 (95% CI 0.55 to 0.75), and were 0.50 (95% CI 0.34 to 0.75) for those who later became permanent. Continuous fixed term employment was not associated with changes in the outcome measures. Change from fixed term to permanent employment was followed by an increase in job security, enduring job satisfaction, and increased medically certified sickness absence (compared to permanent workers rate ratio 0.96 (95% CI 0.80 to 1.16)). Other indicators of work, health, and health related behaviours remained unchanged.
Conclusion: Receiving a permanent job contract after fixed term employment is associated with favourable changes in job security and job satisfaction. The corresponding increase in sickness absence might be due to a reduction in presenteeism and the wearing off of health related selection.
In the present article, we propose an alternative method for dealing with negative affectivity (NA) biases in research, while investigating the association between a deleterious psychosocial environment at work and poor mental health. First, we investigated how strong NA must be to cause an observed correlation between the independent and dependent variables. Second, we subjectively assessed whether NA can have a large enough impact on a large enough number of subjects to invalidate the observed correlations between dependent and independent variables.
We simulated 10,000 populations of 300 subjects each, using the marginal distribution of workers in an actual population that had answered the Siegrist's questionnaire on effort and reward imbalance (ERI) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ).
The results of the present study suggested that simulated NA has a minimal effect on the mean scores for effort and reward. However, the correlations between the effort and reward imbalance (ERI) ratio and the GHQ score might be important, even in simulated populations with a limited NA.
When investigating the relationship between the ERI ratio and the GHQ score, we suggest the following rules for the interpretation of the results: correlations with an explained variance of 5% and below should be considered with caution; correlations with an explained variance between 5% and 10% may result from NA, although this effect does not seem likely; and correlations with an explained variance of 10% and above are not likely to be the result of NA biases.
To investigate the association between effort/reward imbalance (ERI) at work and sedentary lifestyle.
Cross sectional data from the ongoing Finnish Public Sector Study related to 30 433 women and 7718 men aged 17–64 were used (n = 35 918 after exclusion of participants with missing values in covariates). From the responses to a questionnaire, an aggregated mean score for ERI in a work unit was assigned to each participant. The outcome was sedentary lifestyle defined as <2.00 metabolic equivalent task (MET) hours/day. Logistic regression with generalised estimating equations was used as an analysis method to include both individual and work unit level predictors in the models. Adjustments were made for age, marital status, occupational status, job contract, smoking, and heavy drinking.
Twenty five per cent of women and 27% of men had a sedentary lifestyle. High individual level ERI was associated with a higher likelihood of sedentary lifestyle both among women (odds ratio (OR) = 1.08, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.16) and men (OR = 1.17, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.33). These associations were not explained by relevant confounders and they were also independent of work unit level job strain measured as a ratio of job demands and control.
A mismatch between high occupational effort spent and low reward received in turn seems to be associated with an increased risk of sedentary lifestyle, although this association is relatively weak.
effort reward imbalance; physical activity; sedentary lifestyle; work stress