Job strain, effort-reward imbalance, and heavy drinking: a study in 40,851 employees

J Occup Environ Med. 2005 May;47(5):503-13. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000161734.81375.25.


Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the relationship of the job strain model and the effort-reward imbalance model with heavy drinking.

Methods: Questionnaire survey data were obtained from 32,352 women and 8499 men employed in the Finnish public sector (participation 67%). Logistic regression analyses for all employees and for separate subgroups were undertaken by sex, adjusted for age, education, occupational position, marital status, job contract, smoking, and negative affectivity. Different cutoff points of heavy drinking were used for men and women.

Results: High job strain and high effort-reward imbalance as global constructs were not associated with heavy drinking. However, some components of these models were associated with heavy drinking but the relationships were not all in the expected direction and they varied by sex, age, and occupational position.

Conclusions: Stressful work conditions are not consistently associated with heavy drinking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Reward*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload / psychology*
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data*