A short generic measure of work stress in the era of globalization: effort-reward imbalance

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2009 Aug;82(8):1005-13. doi: 10.1007/s00420-008-0384-3. Epub 2008 Nov 19.


Objective: We evaluate psychometric properties of a short version of the original effort-reward imbalance (ERI) questionnaire. This measure is of interest in the context of assessing stressful work conditions in the era of economic globalization.

Methods: In a representative sample of 10,698 employed men and women participating in the longitudinal Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in Germany, a short version of the ERI questionnaire was included in the 2006 panel wave. Structural equation modeling and logistic regression analysis were applied.

Results: In addition to satisfactory internal consistency of scales, a model representing the theoretical structure of the scales provided the best data fit in a competitive test (RMSEA = 0.059, CAIC = 4124.19). Scoring high on the ERI scales was associated with elevated risks of poor self-rated health.

Conclusions: This short version of the ERI questionnaire reveals satisfactory psychometric properties, and can be recommended for further use in research and practice.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Reward*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload / psychology