Work characteristics, learning-related outcomes, and strain: a test of competing direct effects, mediated, and moderated models

J Occup Health Psychol. 2002 Oct;7(4):283-301. doi: 10.1037//1076-8998.7.4.283.


Direct effect, mediated, and moderated models of the relationship among work characteristics (job control, job demands), learning-related outcomes (skill utilization, self-efficacy), and strain (anxiety, depression) were compared. Three independent samples of call center employees were used, 2 cross-sectional (Ns = 427 and 203) and 1 longitudinal (N = 144). Initial analysis of the cross-sectional samples using structural equation modeling revealed that mediated models provided the best fit to the data. Skill utilization mediated the effect of control on depression, and depression partially mediated the effect of control on skill utilization. Longitudinal hierarchical regression analysis confirmed these findings. Results indicate that, in this occupational context, learning reduces strain, strain inhibits learning, and job control is an important precursor of both these relationships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Efficacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology*