The psychometric properties of Karasek's demand and control scales within a single sector: data from a large teaching hospital

  • Joanna E. SaleEmail author
  • Michael S. Kerr
Original Article


Objective: This paper reviews the psychometric properties of the core components from Karasek's job content questionnaire, the decision latitude and psychological job demands scales. Methods: A self-reported survey was administered in 1995 (time 1), 1996 (time 2), and 1997 (time 3) to employees of a large teaching hospital. Analyses for this paper are based on data from the 484 employees who responded at times 1 and 2. Results: Both scales demonstrated acceptable internal consistency as assessed by item-total correlations and Cronbach's alpha. In confirmatory factor analysis, the two-factor decision latitude model adequately fit the data. However, our findings suggest that a two-factor model may provide an improved fit over the original one-factor demands model, suggesting that this scale may be two distinct subscales. Lastly, the scales demonstrated acceptable discriminant validity. Conclusion: Apart from some guarded uncertainty over what the demands scale may be measuring, overall, the two scales appeared to perform reasonably well in this sample of health care workers.

Job strain Control Psychological demands Measurement Factor analysis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Work & Health, 481 University Avenue, Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2E9, CanadaCanada

Personalised recommendations