Change in Psychosocial Work Factors Predicts Follow-up Employee Strain: An Examination of Australian Employees

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Objective:This research undertook a time-ordered investigation of Australian employees in regards to their experiences of change in psychosocial work factors across time (decreases, increases, or no change) in the prediction of psychological, physical, attitudinal, and behavioral employee strain.Methods:Six hundred and ten employees from 17 organizations participated in Time 1 and Time 2 psychosocial risk assessments (average time lag of 16.7 months). Multi-level regressions examined the extent to which change in exposure to six demands and four resources predicted employee strain at follow-up, after controlling for baseline employee strain.Results:Increases in demands and decreases in resources exacerbated employee strain, but even constant moderate demands and resources resulted in poor employee outcomes, not just constant high or low exposure, respectively.Conclusions:These findings can help employers prioritize hazards, and guide tailored psychosocial organizational interventions.

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