Examining Effort–Reward Imbalance and Depressive Symptoms Among Turkish University Workers

KESER A., Li J., Siegrist J.

Workplace Health and Safety, vol.67, no.3, pp.131-136, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 67 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/2165079918807227
  • Journal Name: Workplace Health and Safety
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.131-136
  • Keywords: effort-reward model, overcommitment, CES-D Scale, stress, work stress, JOB STRAIN, STRESS, HEALTH, MODEL
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


© 2018 The Author(s).The body of research pertaining to work-related stress and health among Turkish workers is sparse. It was the aim of this study to test the feasibility of two work stress scales of the Turkish short version of the Effort–Reward Imbalance (ERI-SV) questionnaire among staff and faculty in an academic university setting. We also assessed and examined if work stress was associated with depressive symptoms, using Center for Epidemiological Studies–Depression (CES-D) scale. The two ERI-SV scales and the CES-D scale were distributed to 170 study subjects employed at a southern university in Turkey, in which 67% (n = 114/170) responded. We examined Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the internal consistency of the two main work stress scales of the ERI-SV, and scale structural validity was assessed using exploratory factor analysis. Logistic regression was performed to test the hypothesis of associations of work stress with depressive symptoms. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were.75 and.76 for the scales “Effort” and “Reward,” respectively. Two separate factors were extracted according to the theoretical assumption of the ERI model. Associations between ERI and depressive symptoms were significant (odds ratio [OR] = 3.80 for Effort–Reward [E-R] ratio with an increase per SD, and 7.39 for the high work stress group as defined by an E-R ratio > 1.0). This study provides evidence of the feasibility of the short version of the Turkish ERI questionnaire by pointing to a strong association of stressful work with depressive symptoms in this group of academic workers. Further psychometric properties of the ERI questionnaire are required before its wider application in research and practice.