A cross-national study on the multidimensional characteristics of the five-item psychological demands scale of the job content questionnaire

Bong Kyoo Choi, Norito Kawakami, Seijin Chang, Sang Baek Koh, Jakob Bjorner, Laura Punnett, Robert Karasek

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Background: The five-item psychological demands scale of the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) has been assumed to be one-dimensional in practice. Purpose: To examine whether the scale has sufficient internal consistency and external validity to be treated as a single scale, using the cross-national JCQ datasets from the United States, Korea, and Japan. Method: Exploratory factor analyses with 22 JCQ items, confirmatory factor analyses with the five psychological demands items, and correlations analyses with mental health indexes. Results: Generally, exploratory factor analyses displayed the predicted demand/control/support structure with three and four factors extracted. However, at more detailed levels of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, the demands scale showed clear evidence of multi-factor structure. The correlations of items and subscales of the demands scale with mental health indexes were similar to those of the full scale in the Korean and Japanese datasets, but not in the U.S. data. In 4 out of 16 sub-samples of the U.S. data, several significant correlations of the components of the demands scale with job dissatisfaction and life dissatisfaction were obscured by the full scale. Conclusion: The multidimensionality of the psychological demands scale should be considered in psychometric analysis and interpretation, occupational epidemiologic studies, and future scale extension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-132
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We express our sincere thanks to the Korean National Study Group of Development and Standardization for Occupational Stress Questionnaire [Sei-Jin Chang (Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Principal Investigator), Sang-Baek Koh (Yonsei University, Wonju College of Medicine), Dongmug Kang (College of Medicine, Pusan University), Seong-Ah Kim (Pochon CHA University and Kumi Cha Hospital), Chul-Gab Lee (College of Medicine, Chosun University), Jin-Joo Chung (Korean Women’s Development Institute), Myung-Geun Kang (College of Medicine, Chosun University), Jung-Jin Cho (College of Medicine, Hallym University ), Mia Son (College of Medicine, Kangwon National University), Chang-Ho Chae (Masan Samsung Hospital), Jung-Won Kim (Pusan Paik Hospital, Inje University), Jung-Il Kim (College of Medicine, Donga University), Hyeong-Su Kim (Col- lege of Medicine, Konkuk University), Sang-Chul Roh (College of Medicine, Dankook University), Jae-Beom Park (College of Medicine, Ajou University), Jong-Min Woo (Inje University, Seoul Paik Hospital), Soo-Young Kim (College of Medicine, Eulji University), Jeong-Youn Kim (College of Medicine, Ewha Woman’s University), Mina Ha (College of Medicine, Dankook University), Jungsun Park and Kyung-Yong Rhee (Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency), Hyoung-Ryoul Kim (The Catholic University of Korea), Jeong-Ok Kong (Graduate School of Kangwon National University), In-Ah Kim (College of Medicine, Hanyang University), Jeong-Soo Kim (College of Medicine, Seoul National University)] and Japan Work Stress and Health Cohort Study (JSTRESS) Group [Norito Kawakami (University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine), Takashi Haratani and Shunichi Araki (National Institute of Industrial Health), Fumio Kobayashi (Aichi Medical University), Masao Ishizaki (kanazawa Medical University), Takeshi Hayashi (HITACHI Information & Telecommunication Systems, Shinkawasaki Health Care Center), Osamu Fujita (Kariya General Hospital Eastern Division), Yoshiharu Aizawa (Ki-tasato University School of Medicine), Shogo Miyazaki (Meiji University Law School), Hisanori Hiro (Adecco Health Support Center), Takeshi Masumoto (Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation), Shuji Hashimoto (Fujita Health University School of Medicine)] for permitting us to use the Korean and Japanese JCQ datasets for this study.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

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