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Psychosocial safety climate as an antecedent of work characteristics and psychological strain: A multilevel model


Dollard, MF and Opie, T and Lenthal, S and Wakerman, J and Knight, S and Dunn, S and Rickard, GJ and MacLeod, M, Psychosocial safety climate as an antecedent of work characteristics and psychological strain: A multilevel model, Work and Stress: an international journal of work, health & organisations, 26, (4) pp. 385-404. ISSN 0267-8373 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/02678373.2012.734154


Psychosocial safety climate (PSC) refers to a specific organizational climate for the psychological health of workers. It is largely determined by management and at low levels is proposed as a latent pathogen for psychosocial risk factors and psychological strain. Using an extended Job Demands-Control-Support framework, we predicted the (24 month) cross-level effects of PSC on psychological strain via work conditions. We used a novel design whereby data from two unrelated samples of nurses working in remote areas were used across time (N=202, Time 1; N=163, Time 2), matched at the work unit level (N= 48). Using hierarchical linear modelling we found that unit PSC assessed by nurses predicted work conditions (workload, control, supervisor support) and psychological strain in different nurses in the same work unit 24 months later. There was evidence that the between-group relationship between unit PSC and psychological strain was mediated via Time 2 work conditions (workload, job control) as well as Time 1 emotional demands. The results support a multilevel work stress model with PSC as a plausible primary cause, or "cause of the causes", of work-related strain. The study adds to the literature that identifies organizational contextual factors as origins of the work stress process.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:work stress, psychosocial safety climate, Job Demands-Control Model, Job Demand-Control-Support Model, nurses
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Rickard, GJ (Professor Greg Rickard)
ID Code:110285
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:74
Deposited By:Paramedicine
Deposited On:2016-07-25
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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