Background: The job demands-control model developed by Karasek has greatly influenced research on psychosocial factors at work and health. Validity of the English version of the psychological demands and decision latitude scales is documented. Psychometric qualities of the French version are investigated here in a representative sample of the general population, including blue-collars and white-collars.
Methods: The French translation of the psychological demand and decision latitude scales was administered by interview in a representative sample of the Quebec working population (N = 1,110). Internal consistency and factorial validity of the instrument were studied among white-collars and blue-collars separately. Discriminant validity was assessed for the whole population.
Results: Cronbach alpha coefficients, varying between 0.68 and 0.85, support the internal consistency of the scales. Demographic distribution of the scales and intercorrelations were consistent with the English version. Results of the factor analysis were consistent with the two dimensions expected from the theory. Mean scale scores and variations in the prevalence of high psychological demands combined with low decision latitude by age, sex, education, and job category support the discriminant validity of the instrument.
Conclusions: Results support internal consistency, factorial validity, and discriminant validity of the French version of the psychological demands and decision latitude scales of the Karasek "Job Content Questionnaire" for white-collars and for blue-collars of the general population.