Recent PhD Jonathan Koltai and Professor Scott Schieman on Job Pressure and Mental Health

January 23, 2019 by Nico Golinski

PhD Candidate Jonathan Koltai and Professor Scott Schieman published an article in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour that analyzes what conditions may protect workers from the negative mental health consequences of job pressure. They find that socioeconomic status plays an important role in determining whether job resources provide protection from anxiety resulting from job pressure.

Jonathan Koltai received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2018. He is currently a postdoctoral  Researcher in Social Epidemiology at Bocconi University. The research for his dissertation examines organizational contexts of inter-role conflict and worker well-being. Scott Schieman is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on health, medicine, work, stratification, and the sociology of religion.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Koltai, Jonathan and Scott Schieman. 2015. "Job Pressure and SES-Contingent Buffering: Resource Reinforcement, Substitution, or the Stress of Higher Status?" Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 56(2):180-198.

Analyses of the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce demonstrate that job pressure is associated with greater anxiety and job dissatisfaction. In this paper we ask, What conditions protect workers? The conventional buffering hypothesis in the Job-Demands Resource (JD-R) model predicts that job resources should attenuate the relationship. We test whether the conventional buffering hypothesis depends on socioeconomic status (SES). Support for conventional buffering is evident only for job dissatisfaction—and that generalizes across SES. When anxiety is assessed, however, we observe an SES contingency: Job resources attenuate the positive association between job pressure and anxiety among workers with lower SES, but exacerbate it among those with higher SES. We discuss the implications of this SES-contingent pattern for theoretical scenarios about “resource reinforcement,” “resource substitution,” and the “stress of higher status.” Future research should consider SES indicators as potential contingencies in the relationship between job conditions and mental health.

Read the full article here.