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Age-related effects of job characteristics on burnout and work engagement


Ramos, R; Jenny, Gregor J; Bauer, Georg F (2016). Age-related effects of job characteristics on burnout and work engagement. Occupational Medicine (Oxford, England), 66(3):230-237.

Abstract

BACKGROUND In light of an ageing and age-diverse workforce, it is imperative to understand how psychosocial aspects of work might influence health throughout working life. Recently, there has been an implicit call to differentiate job characteristics beyond the two factors of job demands and job resources. As needs, abilities and motivation fluctuate with age, different job characteristics might yield differential benefits. Additionally, markers beyond chronological age should be considered. AIMS To explore systematically interactions between different job characteristics, age and age covariates (i.e. job tenure and position type) and their relationship with work-related health outcomes. METHODS An online survey of workers in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, recruited through a panel data service provider. We excluded participants working fewer than 30 hours a week, trainees, self-employed people and senior managers. We assessed seven areas of psychosocial risks at work, burnout, work engagement and demographics. RESULTS Of the 6000 workers contacted, 1916 responded (31%). After applying exclusion criteria, we analysed data from 1417 respondents. We found that age barely had a moderating effect between psychosocial factors and health outcomes, but its three-way interaction with age covariates had more explanatory potential. Young workers with high job tenure showed particular vulnerability to job demands and the lack of certain job resources. Older workers with managerial positions were more resilient. CONCLUSIONS Age and its covariates, such as job tenure and position type, should be considered in developing age-sensitive occupational health models.

Abstract

BACKGROUND In light of an ageing and age-diverse workforce, it is imperative to understand how psychosocial aspects of work might influence health throughout working life. Recently, there has been an implicit call to differentiate job characteristics beyond the two factors of job demands and job resources. As needs, abilities and motivation fluctuate with age, different job characteristics might yield differential benefits. Additionally, markers beyond chronological age should be considered. AIMS To explore systematically interactions between different job characteristics, age and age covariates (i.e. job tenure and position type) and their relationship with work-related health outcomes. METHODS An online survey of workers in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, recruited through a panel data service provider. We excluded participants working fewer than 30 hours a week, trainees, self-employed people and senior managers. We assessed seven areas of psychosocial risks at work, burnout, work engagement and demographics. RESULTS Of the 6000 workers contacted, 1916 responded (31%). After applying exclusion criteria, we analysed data from 1417 respondents. We found that age barely had a moderating effect between psychosocial factors and health outcomes, but its three-way interaction with age covariates had more explanatory potential. Young workers with high job tenure showed particular vulnerability to job demands and the lack of certain job resources. Older workers with managerial positions were more resilient. CONCLUSIONS Age and its covariates, such as job tenure and position type, should be considered in developing age-sensitive occupational health models.

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2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:24 January 2016
Deposited On:18 Feb 2016 08:18
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:03
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0962-7480
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqv172
PubMed ID:26810576

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