Factorial invariance and stability of the Effort-Reward Imbalance Scales: A longitudinal analysis of two samples with different time-lags

Department of Technology Management, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.63). 03/2008; 15(1):62-72. DOI: 10.1080/10705500701783959
Source: PubMed


Key measures of Siegrist's (1996) Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) Model (i.e., efforts, rewards, and overcommitment) were psychometrically tested.
To study change in organizational interventions, knowledge about the type of change underlying the instruments used is needed. Next to assessing baseline factorial validity and reliability, the factorial stability over time - known as alpha-beta-gamma change - of the ERI scales was examined.
Psychometrics were tested among 383 and 267 healthcare workers from two Dutch panel surveys with different time lags.
Baseline results favored a five-factor model (i.e., efforts, esteem rewards, financial/career-related aspects, job security, and overcommitment) over and above a three-factor solution (i.e., efforts, composite rewards, and overcommitment). Considering changes as a whole, particularly the factor loadings of the three ERI scales were not equal over time. Findings suggest in general that moderate changes in the ERI factor structure did not affect the interpretation of mean changes over time.
Occupational health researchers utilizing the ERI scales can feel confident that self-reported changes are more likely to be due to factors other than structural change of the ERI scales over time, which has important implications for evaluating job stress and health interventions.

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Available from: Wilmar B Schaufeli
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    • "However, knowledge on the measurement invariance of the scales is scarce. In a Dutch panel study on 383 (first wave) and 267 (second wave) healthcare workers (80-90% women) with a 1 to 2 years follow-up, the factor loadings of the effort-reward imbalance scales were found not to be invariant over time, but the changes were relatively small and may have been related to the use of a two-step format of the ERI- Q [17]. A Finnish study on 758 white-collar professionals (14-17% women) on the other hand showed that the effort-reward imbalance scales were invariant across time (4-year follow-up time) [18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In order to make valid conclusions about individual change in work-related risk factors it is important to examine whether these factors are measurement invariant over time. We tested the measurement invariance of the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) scales using the ERI Questionnaire (ERI-Q). Additionally, we examined the criterion validity of the ERI scales. The sample used in this study was population-based and comprised 2128 participants (56.6% women) in full-time employment. Data on effort, reward and self-reported general stress were collected in 2007 and 2012. Measurement invariance was assessed separately for the effort and reward scales, with reward treated as a first-order and as a second-order variable. Criterion validity of the ERI scales was also examined using a single-item measure of general stress. Effort and reward were found to be measurement invariant over time, that is, they measured the same latent variable across both time points. Furthermore, ERI and its components showed adequate criterion validity, and effort was additionally found to prospectively predict general stress 5 years later (β=0.072, 95% CI 0.013 to 0.131). Our results indicate that changes in the scores of the ERI scales are more likely caused by changes in perceptions of work characteristics than by changes in the construct of the scales. Additionally, the results support the criterion validity of ERI and its components.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Occupational and environmental medicine
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    • "Finally, to study change in organizational interventions, knowledge about the type of change underlying the instruments used is needed. Next to assessing baseline factorial validity and reliability, the factorial stability over time (known as alpha-beta-gamma change) of the key measures will be examined [50]. Drop-outs will be documented and included in the data-analysis to the point of drop-out. "
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    ABSTRACT: It is well-known that health care workers in today's general hospitals have to deal with high levels of job demands, which could have negative effects on their health, well-being, and job performance. A way to reduce job-related stress reactions and to optimize positive work-related outcomes is to raise the level of specific job resources and opportunities to recover from work. However, the question remains how to translate the optimization of the balance between job demands, job resources, and recovery opportunities into effective workplace interventions. The aim of the DISCovery project is to develop and implement tailored work-oriented interventions to improve health, well-being, and performance of health care personnel. A quasi-experimental field study with a non-equivalent control group pretest-posttest design will be conducted in a top general hospital. Four existing organizational departments will provide both an intervention and a comparison group. Two types of research methods are used: (1) a longitudinal web-based survey study, and (2) a longitudinal daily diary study. After base-line measures of both methods, existing and yet to be developed interventions will be implemented within the experimental groups. Follow-up measurements will be taken one and two years after the base-line measures to analyze short-term and long-term effects of the interventions. Additionally, a process evaluation and a cost-effectiveness analysis will be carried out. The DISCovery project fulfills a strong need for theory-driven and scientifically well-performed research on job stress and performance interventions. It will provide insight into (1) how a balance between job demands, job resources, and recovery from work can be optimized, (2) the short-term and long-term effects of tailored work-oriented effects, and (3) indicators for successful or unsuccessful implementation of interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · BMC Health Services Research
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    • "Overcommitment was only measured at follow-up. Since overcommitment is considered to be partly a personality trait [54] and has been observed to be stable over time [13], we considered this measurement as a valid one to approximate the baseline measure. Overcommitment was measured with the recommended [56] and validated [42] 6-item French version scale. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study investigated gender-specific interaction between effort-reward imbalance and video display unit (VDU) postural risk factors at work on the incidence of self-reported musculoskeletal symptoms in the shoulder-neck, lower back and upper limbs regions. Participants: A cohort of 2,431 VDU users - consisting of white-collar workers in three Canadian public service organizations - was assessed on postural risk factors and effort-reward imbalance at work. Methods: After a mean follow-up time of three years, the six-month incidence proportion of musculoskeletal symptoms in each body region was measured. Interaction was estimated with the attributable proportion of cases due to interaction. Results: For women, two significant attributable proportions due to interaction between effort-reward imbalance and postural risk factors were observed in the shoulder-neck (64%) and upper limbs (57%) regions, while an interaction of 25%, although not significant, was observed in the lower back. No interaction was observed for men. Conclusions: This interaction means that, among women, when effort-reward imbalance and postural risk factors are simultaneously present, the incidence of musculoskeletal symptoms is greater than the sum of effects of the individual factors. Successful interventions on either one of these exposures would thus have the supplemental benefit of preventing cases due to interaction.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Work
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