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J Occup Health year 2006 volume 48 number 1 page 11 - 19
Classification Original
Title Overtime and Need for Recovery in Relation to Job Demands and Job Control
Author Monique van der HULST1, Marc van VELDHOVEN2 and Debby BECKERS1
Organization 1Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Radboud University Nijmegen and 2Department of Human Resource Studies, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Keywords Overtime, Psychosocial work characteristics, Need for recovery
Correspondence D. Beckers, Department of Work and Organisational Psychology, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands
(e-mail: d.beckers@psych.ru.nl)
Abstract Overtime and Need for Recovery in Relation to Job Demands and Job Control: Monique van der HULST, et al. Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands-This study addressed the prevalence of working overtime in relation to psychosocial work characteristics and need for recovery. More precisely, the aim of this study was to find out (1) whether a relationship exists between working overtime and psychosocial work characteristics (job demands and job control), (2a) whether a relationship exists between working overtime and need for recovery, and finally (2b) whether such a relationship depends on job type (a specific combination of job demands and job control). The study sample (N=1,473) consisted of a national random sample of office-based municipal administration employees who worked full-time. These employees completed a questionnaire on working conditions, overtime and need for recovery, among other things. Overtime was especially common in jobs characterised by high demands. The analyses showed that working overtime is not associated with a higher need for recovery in the total study population. However, there was a positive relationship between overtime hours and need for recovery in high strain jobs (high demands, low control). Furthermore, there was a positive relationship between structural overtime and need for recovery in active jobs (high demands, high control). The relationship between overtime and need for recovery seems to be dependent upon working conditions; indicators of overtime were associated with a higher need for recovery only for employees who experienced high job demands. Longitudinal research within a heterogeneous sample will be necessary to draw firm conclusions about causality with respect to the relationship between overtime, need for recovery and working conditions.