Comparing the Job Strain and Job Demand-Control-Support Models in Direct-Care Disability Workers: Support for Support

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This study attempted to determine the relationship of physiological indices of stress (ie, cortisol and salivary immunoglobulin A) to the job strain and the job demand-control-support models.


A sample of 98 direct-care disability workers completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Job Content Questionnaire. In addition, participants' morning saliva samples were analyzed for cortisol and salivary immunoglobulin A concentration levels.


The job strain and job demand-control-support models were tested using structural equation modeling. The job demand-control-support model successfully fitted with the data and was able to predict physiological outcomes, the job strain model did not. The salivary immunoglobulin A scores, in comparison to the cortisol data, were predicted more successfully by these models.


Researchers are encouraged to study if different employee groups are at-risk for differing types of stress-related-illness, which may be triggered by occupation-specific stressors and/or physiological reactions.

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