The role of acceptance and job control in mental health, job satisfaction, and work performance

J Appl Psychol. 2003 Dec;88(6):1057-67. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.88.6.1057.


Acceptance, the willingness to experience thoughts, feelings, and physiological sensations without having to control them or let them determine one's actions, is a major individual determinant of mental health and behavioral effectiveness in a more recent theory of psychopathology. This 2-wave panel study examined the ability of acceptance also to explain mental health, job satisfaction, and performance in the work domain. The authors hypothesized that acceptance would predict these 3 outcomes 1 year later in a sample of customer service center workers in the United Kingdom (N = 412). Results indicated that acceptance predicted mental health and an objective measure of performance over and above job control, negative affectivity, and locus of control. These beneficial effects of having more job control were enhanced when people had higher levels of acceptance. The authors discuss the theoretical and practical relevance of this individual characteristic to occupational health and performance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Employee Performance Appraisal*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Social Control, Formal*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires