On cross-sectional questionnaire studies of relationships between psychosocial conditions at work and health—are they reliable?

  • Töres TheorellEmail author
  • Hans Martin Hasselhorn

Common interpretation problems in psychosocial work environment research

It is not known to what extent self reported assessments of the psychosocial work environment—that the majority of research reports have been based upon—reflect individual characteristics (which may distort the perception of reality) and to what extent they reflect true environmental conditions. Critics argue that “subjectivity bias” may explain most of the observed associations between psychosocial working conditions and health (Wainwright and Calnan 2002; Mc Leod and Davey Smith 2003). This is indeed a classical problem in this research. We will discuss some aspects of this but the reader interested in the whole range of assessment problems is referred to other articles (for instance Zapf et al. 1996).

The problem with self-reported data is particularly prominent when both psychosocial environment and health are described by means of self-reports (common method variance) and when both are recorded at the same...


Decision Latitude Psychological Demand Psychosocial Work Environment Biological Risk Factor Psychosocial Working Condition 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karolinska Institute and National Institute for Psychosocial Factors and HealthStockholmSweden
  2. 2.University of WuppertalWuppertalGermany

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