Identifying patterns of recovery experiences and their links to psychological outcomes across one year

  • Marjo Siltaloppi
  • Ulla Kinnunen
  • Taru Feldt
  • Asko Tolvanen
Original Article



The main aim of this study was to examine patterns of recovery experiences (i.e., psychological detachment, relaxation, mastery and control during off-job time) and their links to psychological outcomes (job burnout, work engagement and sleep problems) across 1 year.


The study is based on 1-year longitudinal data collected among Finnish employees (n = 274) using questionnaires. First, patterns of recovery experiences, that is, subgroups of employees with unique and distinctive patterns of mean-level stability and change in recovery experiences across 1 year were identified using Latent Profile Analysis. Second, differences in psychological outcomes between the patterns identified were investigated by means of ANOVA/ANCOVA for repeated measures.


Five patterns of recovery experiences were identified. Over 70% of the employees belonged to a pattern with reasonably high stable levels of all four recovery experiences across the 1-year follow-up. This pattern seemed to suffer least from job burnout and sleep problems. Of the four remaining patterns, those with experiences of high levels of mastery and control during off-job time had highest work engagement, and among those with decreasing levels of all recovery experiences job exhaustion increased across time.


Patterns of recovery experiences play a significant role in maintaining long-term psychological well-being.


Recovery from work stress Recovery experiences Sleep problems Job burnout Work engagement 



The research project “The Role of Recovery from Job Strain in Maintaining Occupational Well-being” was financially supported by The Finnish Work Environment Fund (grant No. 106046).

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Ahola K, Honkonen T, Kivimäki M, Virtanen M, Isometsä E, Aromaa A, Lönnqvist J (2006) Contribution of burnout to the association between job strain and depression: the Health 2000 Study. J Occup Environ Med 48:1023–1030CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahola K, Toppinen-Tanner S, Huuhtanen P, Koskinen A, Väänänen A (2009) Occupational burnout and chronic work disability: an eight-year cohort study on pensioning among Finnish forest industry workers. J Affect Disord 115:150–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Åkerstedt T (2006) Psychosocial stress and impaired sleep. Scand J Work Environ Health 32:493–501Google Scholar
  4. Åkerstedt T, Nilsson PM, Kecklund G (2009) Sleep and recovery. In: Sonnentag S, Perrewé PL, Ganster DC (eds) Current perspectives on job-stress recovery. Emerald, Bingley, pp 205–247Google Scholar
  5. Bakker AB, Demerouti E (2007) The job demands-resources model: state of the art. J Manage Psychol 22:309–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bakker AB, Schaufeli WB, Leiter M, Taris T (2008) Work engagement: an emerging concept in occupational health psychology. Work Stress 22:187–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baruch Y, Holtom B (2008) Survey response rate levels and trends in organizational research. Hum Relat 61:1139–1160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bergman L, Magnusson D (1997) A person-oriented approach in research on developmental psychopathology. Dev Psychopathol 9:291–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bergman L, Trost K (2006) The person-oriented vs. variable-oriented approach: are they complementary, opposite, or exploring different worlds? Merrill Palmer Q 52:601–632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Binnewies C, Sonnentag S, Mojza EJ (2010) Recovery during the weekend and fluctuations in weekly job performance: a week-level study examining intra-individual relationships. J Occup Organ Psychol 83:419–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cudeck R, Browne MW (1993) Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In: Bollen KA, Scott Long J (eds) Testing structural equation models. CA7 Sage, Newbury Park, pp 1–9Google Scholar
  12. de Croon EM, Sluiter JK, Blonk RWB, Broersen JPJ, Frings-Dresen MHW (2004) Stressful work, psychological job strain, and turnover: a 2-year prospective cohort study of truck drivers. J Appl Psychol 89:442–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Demerouti E, Taris TW, Bakker A (2007) Need for recovery, home-work interference and performance: is lack of concentration the link? J Vocat Behav 71:204–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eden D (2001) Vacations and other respites: studying stress on and off the job. In: Cooper CL, Robertson IT (eds) International review of industrial and organizational psychology. Wiley, Chichester, pp 121–146Google Scholar
  15. Fritz C, Sonnentag S (2005) Recovery, health, and performance: effects of weekend experiences. J Occup Health Psychol 10:187–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Geurts S, Sonnentag S (2006) Recovery as an explanatory mechanism in the relation between acute stress reactions and chronic health impairment. Scand J Work Environ Health 32:482–492Google Scholar
  17. Hobfoll SE (1998) Stress, culture, and community: the psychology and physiology of stress. Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Hu L, Bentler PM (1999) Cut-off criteria for fit indices in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternative. Struct Equ Model 6:1–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jansen N, Kant I, Kristensen T, Nijhuis F (2003) Antecedents and consequences of work-family conflict: a prospective cohort study. J Occup Environ Med 45:479–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Johns MW, Doré C (1978) Sleep at home and in the sleep laboratory: disturbance by recording procedures. Ergonomics 21:325–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jöreskog K, Sörbom D (1996) LISREL 8: user’s reference guide. Scientific Software International, ChigacoGoogle Scholar
  22. Kalimo R, Pahkin K, Mutanen P, Toppinen-Tanner S (2003) Staying well or burning out at work: work characteristics and personal resources as long-term predictors. Work Stress 17:109–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kalimo R, Hakanen J, Toppinen-Tanner S (2006) Maslachin yleinen työuupumuksen arviointimenetelmä MBI-GS. [The Finnish version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory—General Survey]. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
  24. Killen JD, George J, Marchini E, Silverman S, Thoresen C (1982) Estimating sleep parameters: a multitrait-multimethod analysis. J Consult Clin Psychol 50:345–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Maslach C, Jackson SE, Leiter MP (1996) Maslach burnout inventory manual, 3rd edn. Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc., Palo AltoGoogle Scholar
  26. Maslach C, Schaufeli WB, Leiter MP (2001) Job burnout. Annu Rev Psychol 52:397–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Meijman TF, Mulder G (1998) Psychological aspects of workload. In: Drenth PJD, Thierry H (eds) Handbook of work and organizational psychology, vol 2. Work psychology. Psychology Press, Hove, pp 5–33Google Scholar
  28. Muthèn BO (2001) Latent variable mixture modeling. In: Marcoulides GA, Schumacker RE (eds) New developments and techniques in structural equation modeling. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, pp 1–33Google Scholar
  29. Muthèn BO (2003) Statistical and substantive checking in growth mixture modelling: comment on Bauer and Curran (2003). Psychol Methods 8:369–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Muthèn LK, Muthèn OB (1998–2008) Mplus user’s guide.
  31. Muthèn LK, Muthèn BO (2000) Integrating person-centered and variable-centered analyses: growth mixture modelling with latent trajectory classes. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 24:882–891CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Partinen M, Gislason T (1995) Basic Nordic Sleep Questionnaire (BNSQ): a quantitated measure of subjective sleep complaints. J Sleep Res 4:150–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Satorra A, Bentler PM (2005) Chi-square difference testing using the Satorra-Bentler scaled chi-square.
  34. Schaufeli WB, Salanova M, González-Romá V, Bakker AB (2002) The measurement of engagement and burnout: a two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach. J Happiness Stud 3:71–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schaufeli WB, Bakker AB, Salanova M (2006) The measurement of work engagement with a short questionnaire. Educ Psychol Meas 66:701–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schutte N, Toppinen S, Kalimo R, Schaufeli W (2000) The factorial validity of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS) across occupational groups and nations. J Occup Organ Psychol 73:53–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Seppälä P, Mauno S, Feldt T, Hakanen J, Kinnunen U, Tolvanen A, Schaufeli W (2009) The construct validity of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale: multisample and longitudinal evidence. J Happiness Stud 10:459–481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Siltaloppi M, Kinnunen U, Feldt T (2009) Recovery experiences as moderators between psychosocial work characteristics and occupational well-being. Work Stress 23:330–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sonnentag S, Bayer U-V (2005) Switching off mentally: predictors and consequences of psychological detachment from work during off-job time. J Occup Health Psychol 10:393–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sonnentag S, Fritz C (2007) The Recovery Experience Questionnaire: development and validation of a measure for assessing recuperation and unwinding from work. J Occup Health Psychol 12:204–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sonnentag S, Geurts SAE (2009) Methodological issues in recovery research. In: Sonnentag S, Perrewé PL, Ganster DC (eds) Current perspectives on job-stress recovery. Emerald, Bingley, pp 1–36Google Scholar
  42. Sonnentag S, Binnewies C, Mojza E (2008) Did you have a nice evening? A day-level study of recovery experiences, sleep, and affect. J Appl Psychol 93:674–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sonnentag S, Binnewies C, Mojza E (2010) Staying well and engaged when demands are high: the role of psychological detachment. J Appl Psychol 95:965–976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Spector PE (2006) Method variance in organizational research. Truth or urban legend? Organ Res Methods 9:221–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sverke M, Hellgren J, Näswall K (2002) No security: a meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences. J Occup Health Psychol 7:242–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Taris T, Schreurs P, Scahufeli W (1999) Construct validity of the Maslach Burnout Inventory—General Survey: two sample examination of its factor structure and correlates. Work Stress 13:223–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marjo Siltaloppi
    • 1
  • Ulla Kinnunen
    • 1
  • Taru Feldt
    • 2
  • Asko Tolvanen
    • 2
  1. 1.University of TampereTampereFinland
  2. 2.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

Personalised recommendations