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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 432; doi:10.3390/ijerph13040432

Associations of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Components of Work Stress with Health: A Systematic Review of Evidence on the Effort-Reward Imbalance Model

1
Senior Professorship on Work Stress Research, Life Science Centre, University of Düsseldorf, Merowingerplatz 1a, Düsseldorf 40225, Germany
2
Institute of Occupational and Social Medicine, Centre for Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine, University of Düsseldorf, Universitätsstrasse 1, Düsseldorf 40225, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Cary Cooper
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 15 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Stress, Human Health and Wellbeing)
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Abstract

Mainstream psychological stress theory claims that it is important to include information on people’s ways of coping with work stress when assessing the impact of stressful psychosocial work environments on health. Yet, some widely used respective theoretical models focus exclusively on extrinsic factors. The model of effort-reward imbalance (ERI) differs from them as it explicitly combines information on extrinsic and intrinsic factors in studying workers’ health. As a growing number of studies used the ERI model in recent past, we conducted a systematic review of available evidence, with a special focus on the distinct contribution of its intrinsic component, the coping pattern “over-commitment”, towards explaining health. Moreover, we explore whether the interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic components exceeds the size of effects on health attributable to single components. Results based on 51 reports document an independent explanatory role of “over-commitment” in explaining workers’ health in a majority of studies. However, support in favour of the interaction hypothesis is limited and requires further exploration. In conclusion, the findings of this review support the usefulness of a work stress model that combines extrinsic and intrinsic components in terms of scientific explanation and of designing more comprehensive worksite stress prevention programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: work stress models; effort-reward imbalance; over-commitment; systematic review; health measures work stress models; effort-reward imbalance; over-commitment; systematic review; health measures
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Siegrist, J.; Li, J. Associations of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Components of Work Stress with Health: A Systematic Review of Evidence on the Effort-Reward Imbalance Model. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 432.

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