Assessing different dimensions of stress in the
stress-strain relationship. A longitudinal study.
Jiménez, P.1, Höfer, M. 2, Schmon, C. 2, & Dunkl, A. 1
1 University of Graz; Department of Psychology, Division Work-, Organizational and Environmental Psychology
2 research-team GmbH, Austria
Different aspects of stress have to be analyzed to get a more detailed
understanding about stress and strain instead of using a summarized
factor of stress to predict work-related outcomes . Facets which are
used for the description of stress are often based on the ISO 10075-1 
and other concepts (e.g. ). Investigating different dimensions of stress
support deriving tailored interventions for organizations.
The instrument OrgFit has been especially developed to assess different
dimensions of stress as a basis for the development of specific
interventions (example items see Table 1).
Contact: Department of Psychology University of Graz, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://psychologie.uni-graz.at/de/aou/
 Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., & Euwema, M. C. (2005). Job resources buffer the impact of job demands on burnout. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 10, 170-180. doi: 10.1037/1076-89126.96.36.199
 ISO (2000) ISO 10075-1: Ergonomic principles related to mental workload - General terms and definitions. Switzerland, Geneva.
 Morschhäuser, M., Beck, D., Lohmann-Haislah, A. (2014). Psychische Belastung als Gegenstand der Gefährdungsbeurteilung [Mental stress within risk assessment]. In Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Ed.),
Gefährdungsbeurteilung psychischer Belastung. Erfahrungen und Empfehlungen [Risk assessment of mental stress. Experiences and Recommendations] [pp. 19-44]. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag.
 Jiménez, P., Dunkl, A., Bramberger, C. (2014). OrgFit an instrument to assess mental workload. Manual, Graz: University of Graz, Austria.
 Jiménez, P., & Kallus, K. W. (2016). EBF-Work (55) [RESTQ-Work (55)]. Frankfurt, Pearson Assessment.
 Büssing, A., & Glaser, J. (1998). Managerial Stress und Burnout. A Collaborative International Study (CISMS). Die deutsche Untersuchung (No. 44), Technische Universität, Lehrstuhl für Psychologie, München.
How many times have you experienced the following aspects
the last 4 weeks?
My work required high levels of attention.
(work activities and tasks)
At work, I had conflicts with my direct superior.
New tasks were explained to me badly.
I had to work with hazardous equipment.
I was lacking space for the performance of my tasks.
I had frequently changing working hours.
(work flow and organization)
Table 1. Example items for the OrgFit
Note: Answer scale ranges from 0 (never) to 6 (always)
Results and conclusion
The results indicate a high test-retest reliability (.73 to .78) for the
different stress dimensions (diagonal for stress in Table 2).
Furthermore, the stress dimensions show significant cross-
sectional and longitudinal relationships with strain, resources and
burnout (lower part in Table 2, the highlighted cells show the
supported directions). The relationships between the constructs
showed to be stable after a time interval of six months.
The findings indicate that different dimensions of stress should be
investigated to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the
experience of strain, resources and burnout. The OrgFit proves to
be a valid instrument to measure stress and can serve as a base
for developing specific interventions on an organizational level.
Table 2. Correlations between the study variables
OrgFit, stress dimensions
activites and tasks .73**
climate .47** .76**
environment .47** .44** .78**
flow and organization .47** .53** .32** .75**
-emotional .32** .37** .15 .41**
of meaning .37** .52** .23* .53**
-.29** -.42** -.24* -.37**
/breaks -.24* -.27** -.17* -.37**
resources -.22* -.44** -.24* -.07
-related resources -.39** -.58** -.30** -.26**
exhaustion .49** .50** .32** .53**
.29** .45** .21* .32**
accomplishment -.30** -.56** -.26** -.40**
The data were collected as part of a larger longitudinal study conducted
among Austrian workers. Participants were recruited from other studies
executed at the Department of Psychology at the University of Graz and
were asked for their consent to contact them again for future studies. The
time interval between the single measurement points was six months.
t1-t2: N=104 (t1: N=233; t2: N=202)
Gender: 63.5% women, 36.5% men
Mean age: 46 years (M=45.9; SD=8.38)
Position: 34% leadership position, 66% without leadership position
Note: stress measured with the OrgFit , strain and resources measured with the RESTQ-Work ; burnout measured with the MBI-GS-D ;
the higlighted cells (medium to large effect sizes) are in the expected directions;