A longitudinal diary-based study of the demand-control model and effort in a sample of Greek nursing staff

Papangeli, Alexandra

September 2002

Thesis or dissertation

© 2002 Alexandra Papangeli. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The present study employed a diary-based longitudinal framework in order to examine the demand-control model in a homogeneous group of Greek nursing staff. The purpose of the present study is twofold. First, it aimed at examining the demand-control model (Karasek, 1979; Karasek & Theorell, 1990) comprehensively, with the use of different data analytic procedures. Second, it investigated the main and interactive effects of effort, which has been considered to play an important role in the active management of job demands.

A pilot study was initially undertaken in order to check the reliability of the diary booklet and the perceived relevancy of the items. Exploratory factor analysis confirmed the dimensionality of the job characteristics, mood and effort items, since they tapped the a priori dimensions. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis provided partial support for the interactive hypothesis and substantial support for the additive model. Enhancing effects of control and support were also observed. The examination of effort indicated that individuals adopted an active, direct coping mode of demand management.

Between-individuals cross-sectional analyses failed to provide support for the model. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses of the questionnaire data indicated main effects of resources. Analyses of the aggregated diary data supported the additive model and revealed enhancing effects of job
control and social support. The results suggested the possibility of aggregation biases. The examination of the effort variable showed that individuals were operating in a direct coping mode of demand management.

Standardised pooled within-individual analyses provided partial support for the demand-control model. The results revealed main effects of demands, control and support for the outcome variables, indicating detrimental effects of demands and beneficial effects of control and support. Negative effects of effort were also found, suggesting that individuals were employing the strain mode of demand management.

The longitudinal analysis of the demand - control model failed to indicate any prospective association between the variables under consideration. Possible reasons for the lack of longitudinal effects are considered. Analyses of effort suggested the adoption of a direct, active coping mode of demand management.

Methodological contributions and limitations of the present study are discussed, implications of the findings are considered and suggestions for future research are made.

Department of Psychology, The University of Hull
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