Dimensions of the psychosocial work environment in a sample of the US metropolitan population

Carles Muntaner, William W. Eaton, Roberta Garrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigates the dimensional structure of the psychosocial work environment as assessed by Karasek’s job characteristics scales and a set of factorial scales derived from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) observers’ ratings of occupational characteristics for census occupations. Scale scores on the Karasek and DOT were linked to information on occupation from the Epidemiologc Catchment Area (ECA) study sample. Scale intercorreladons and factor analysis were performed on those ECA subjects who reported ever having a full-time job (n = 11,789). DOT’sS Substantive Complexity scale was positively correlated with Karasek’s Skill Discretion and Decision Authority scales, and DOT’s Physical Demands and Hazards scale was positively correlated with Karasek’s Physical Demands scale. In addition, the DOT system compared to the Karasek system seems to assess psychosocial work domains less characteristic of traditional industrial jobs (interpersonal stress, expressive work). The content validity of the Karasek scales might be increased with the assessment of these domains. Giving support to Karasek’s Demand/Control Model, the factor structure of the psychosocial work enviromnent in the probability sample of five US metropolitan populations yielded two major dimensions: Control, and Physical Demands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-363
Number of pages13
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grant DA 04823 from the U S National Institute on Drug Abuse. We thank Ms Jean Lavelle for typing a table of this manuscript. We also thank Elliot Liebow, Carrie Schoenbach and Carmi Schooler for their comments.


  • Control
  • Demands
  • Stress
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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