Psychosocial work environment and mental health: Job-strain and effort-reward imbalance models in a context of major organizational changes

Int J Occup Environ Health. 2006 Apr-Jun;12(2):111-9. doi: 10.1179/oeh.2006.12.2.111.


This study explored the association between the two job-stress models, job-strain and effort-reward imbalance, and mental health outcomes in a working population exposed to major organizational changes. The cross-sectional study was based on 680 subjects, 504 men and 176 women. Psychosocial factors at work included: psychological demands, decision latitude, social support, effort, reward, and overcommitment. Mental health outcomes were depressive symptoms (CES-D) and psychiatric disorders (GHQ-12). Job strain, low decision latitude, effort-reward imbalance, and low reward (especially job instability) were found to be associated with depressive symptoms and/or psychiatric disorders among men. Overcommitment at work was a risk factor for both men and women. Social support at work played a role to reduce depressive symptoms for women. These findings emphasize the deleterious effects of psychosocial work environment on mental health during major organizational changes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Innovation*
  • Reward*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires