Time pressure and coworker support mediate the curvilinear relationship between age and occupational well-being

Hannes Zacher*, Nerina L. Jimmieson, Prashant Bordia

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    61 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    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 wellestablished 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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)462-475
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
    Volume19
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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