Psychometric properties of the Korean version of the job content questionnaire: data from health care workers

  • Ki-Do Eum
  • Jian Li
  • Hyung-Joon Jhun
  • Jong-Tae Park
  • Sang-Woo Tak
  • Robert Karasek
  • Sung-Il Cho
Original Article



To test the validity and reliability of selected scales, namely, decision latitude, psychological job demand, social support, job insecurity, and macro-level decision latitude from the Korean version of the job content questionnaire (K-JCQ), as part of a psychosocial epidemiological study among university hospital workers.


K-JCQ was developed by translation and back translation complying with the JCQ usage policy, and its psychometric properties were explored among 338 workers (290 females and 48 males) in a university hospital in Korea. Internal consistency was examined using Cronbach’s alpha correlation coefficients. Factorial validity was tested using exploratory factor analysis. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used for test–retest reliability among a subset of 157 workers who responded to a repeat survey. Criterion-related validity was assessed by investigating the effects of the scales on job satisfaction and self-identity through work in multiple regression models.


Cronbach’s alpha for all selected scales was higher than 0.6, except for job insecurity (0.53) and macro-level decision authority (0.52), indicating appropriate internal consistency. Correlation coefficients between test and retest scales of decision latitude, psychological job demand, and social support were 0.60, 0.41, and 0.35, respectively. Exploratory factor analysis found three- and four-factor models, i.e., with and without macro-level decision latitude, respectively, closely corresponding to the theoretical constructs. High levels of decision latitude and social support, and low levels of psychological job demand and job insecurity were significantly associated with high level of job satisfaction. Higher self-identity through work was positively related to decision latitude and social support.


These findings suggest that K-JCQ is valid and reliable for assessing psychosocial job stress among Korean workers. Macro-level decision latitude showed a separate factorial structure and was strongly associated with task-level decision latitude.


Health care worker Job content questionnaire (JCQ) Macro-level decision latitude Reliability Validity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ki-Do Eum
    • 1
  • Jian Li
    • 2
  • Hyung-Joon Jhun
    • 3
  • Jong-Tae Park
    • 4
  • Sang-Woo Tak
    • 5
  • Robert Karasek
    • 5
  • Sung-Il Cho
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public HealthSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public HealthFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hangang Sacred Heart HospitalHallym UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Occupational and Environmental MedicineKorea University Ansan HospitalAnsan CitySouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of Work EnvironmentUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA
  6. 6.Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Institute of Health and EnvironmentSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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