Young and going strong? A longitudinal study on occupational health among young employees of different educational levels

Young and going strong? A longitudinal study on occupational health among young employees of... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify job characteristics that determine young employees' wellbeing, health, and performance, and to compare educational groups. Design/methodology/approach – Using the job demands‐resources (JD‐R) model and 2‐wave longitudinal data ( n =1,284), the paper compares employees with a lower educational level with employees with a high educational level. Findings – Young employees with lower educational level reported fewer job resources (autonomy and social support), more physical demands, less dedication, more emotional exhaustion, and poorer health and performance compared with the highly educated group. Differences were also found between educational groups in the relationships in the JD‐R model, most notably a reciprocal association between dedication and performance, and between emotional exhaustion and performance in the group with lower levels of education. Research limitations/implications – The results support the main processes of the JD‐R model, supporting its generalizability. However, differences were found between educational groups, implying that the motivational and health impairment processes differ across educational levels. Practical implications – HR consultants and career counselors may focus especially on increasing job resources and motivation for young employees with lower educational level. Performing well is also important for these young workers to become more dedicated and less exhausted. Social implications – It is important to recognize and intervene on unique characteristics of different educational groups with regard to wellbeing, health, and performance in order to maintain a healthy and productive young workforce. Originality/value – For the first time, predictions of the JD‐R model are tested among young employees with different educational backgrounds. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Career Development International Emerald Publishing

Young and going strong? A longitudinal study on occupational health among young employees of different educational levels

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1362-0436
D.O.I.
10.1108/CDI-02-2013-0024
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify job characteristics that determine young employees' wellbeing, health, and performance, and to compare educational groups. Design/methodology/approach – Using the job demands‐resources (JD‐R) model and 2‐wave longitudinal data ( n =1,284), the paper compares employees with a lower educational level with employees with a high educational level. Findings – Young employees with lower educational level reported fewer job resources (autonomy and social support), more physical demands, less dedication, more emotional exhaustion, and poorer health and performance compared with the highly educated group. Differences were also found between educational groups in the relationships in the JD‐R model, most notably a reciprocal association between dedication and performance, and between emotional exhaustion and performance in the group with lower levels of education. Research limitations/implications – The results support the main processes of the JD‐R model, supporting its generalizability. However, differences were found between educational groups, implying that the motivational and health impairment processes differ across educational levels. Practical implications – HR consultants and career counselors may focus especially on increasing job resources and motivation for young employees with lower educational level. Performing well is also important for these young workers to become more dedicated and less exhausted. Social implications – It is important to recognize and intervene on unique characteristics of different educational groups with regard to wellbeing, health, and performance in order to maintain a healthy and productive young workforce. Originality/value – For the first time, predictions of the JD‐R model are tested among young employees with different educational backgrounds.

Journal

Career Development InternationalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 9, 2013

Keywords: Young employees; JD‐R model; Job characteristics; Wellbeing; Education; Occupational health and safety

References

  • Fresh and healthy? Well‐being, health and performance of young employees with intermediate education
    Akkermans, J.; Brenninkmeijer, V.; Blonk, R.W.B.; Koppes, L.L.J.
  • The job demands‐resources model: state of the art
    Bakker, A.B.; Demerouti, E.
  • A longitudinal test of the job demands‐resources model among Australian university academics
    Boyd, C.M.; Bakker, A.B.; Pignata, S.; Winefield, A.H.; Gillespie, N.; Stough, C.
  • The job demands‐resources model of burnout
    Demerouti, E.; Bakker, A.B.; Nachreiner, F.; Schaufeli, W.B.
  • Does a positive gain spiral of resources, efficacy beliefs, and engagement exist?
    Llorens, S.; Schaufeli, W.; Bakker, A.; Salanova, M.
  • The school‐to‐work transition: a cross‐national perspective
    Ryan, P.
  • The transition from school to work: a developmental perspective
    Savickas, M.L.
  • Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement
    Schaufeli, W.B.; Bakker, A.B.
  • The measurement of engagement and burnout: a two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach
    Schaufeli, W.B.; Salanova, M.; González‐Roma, V.; Bakker, A.B.
  • The process of burnout in white‐collar and blue‐collar jobs: eight‐year prospective study of exhaustion
    Toppinen‐Tanner, S.; Kalimo, R.; Mutanen, P.

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