Time pressure and coworker support mediate the curvilinear relationship between age and occupational well-being.
Zacher, Hannes; Jimmieson, Nerina L.; Bordia, Prashant
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol 19(4), Oct 2014, 462-475.
As the proportion of older employees in the workforce is growing, researchers have become increasingly interested in the association between age and occupational well-being. The curvilinear nature of relationships between age and job satisfaction and between age and emotional exhaustion is well-established in the literature, with employees in their late 20s to early 40s generally reporting lower levels of occupational well-being than younger and older employees. However, the mechanisms underlying these curvilinear relationships are so far not well understood due to a lack of studies testing mediation effects. Based on an integration of role theory and research from the adult development and career literatures, this study examined time pressure, work–home conflict, and coworker support as mediators of the relationships between age and job satisfaction and between age and emotional exhaustion. Data came from 771 employees between 17 and 74 years of age in the construction industry. Results showed that employees in their late 20s to early 40s had lower job satisfaction and higher emotional exhaustion than younger and older employees. Time pressure and coworker support fully mediated both the U-shaped relationship between age and job satisfaction and the inversely U-shaped relationship between age and emotional exhaustion. These findings suggest that organizational interventions may help increase the relatively low levels of occupational well-being in certain age groups. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)