APH 2003, 61, 53-74:

The Job Content Questionnaire: methodological considérations and challenges for future research.

E. Pelfrene, E. Clays, M. Moreau, R. Mak, P. Vlerick, M. Kornitzer, G. De Backer

Keywords: -

In studies of occupational stress and health, two leading theoretical models have over the years inspired and engendered a lot of scientific research. The job demand-controt-support model (DCS) states that the most noxious combination as regards health outcomes is high job demands, low decision latitude and low social support at work. The effort-reward imbalance model (ERI) emphasises that stress occurs when rewards in terms of money, esteem and career opportunities no longer match efforts. To accommodate for such factors at the organisational or larger economy level, the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) connected with the DOS-model was supplemented with a few Items that survey perceptions of job insecurity and of impact of world market competition (WMC) on one's job. In the large Belstress-l sample with observations in 21,419 employees of 25 large companies across Belgium during 1994-1998, all JCQ-scales were found to reach acceptable internal consistency reliability. Also a remarkable clear factor structure in line with predictions was produced. Perception of a high level of job insecurity and perception of impact of WMC are positively and independently related with self-reported poor health or a depressive mood. Associations are, however, rather weak in both gender groups. On the other hand, precisely these added new constructs show a significant rise over time in mean scores, to judge from repeat observations in 594 participants to Belstress-l I in 2001. The need to further monitor health effects of changes at the organisational and global economy level is debated.