Strains as mediators between job characteristics and work-related outcomes in police officers
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The relationship between job characteristics (e.g., job demands, social support) and work-related outcomes (e.g., turnover intentions, job performance) is assumed to be mediated by strains (e.g., work-related well-being, psychological strain). However, evidence suggests this association will be stronger for work-related strains than broader measures of overall psychological well-being. The primary aim of this study was to identify whether work and non-work related strains differ significantly in their ability to mediate between job characteristics and work-related outcomes. Perceptions of job characteristics, strain, turnover intentions and job performance were collected via a self-report survey from 2,588 Australian police officers. All job characteristics (job demands, job control, supervisor support and colleague support) were significant predictors of both job performance and turnover intentions, with the exception of job demands, which was not a significant predictor of turnover intentions. Both work and non-work related strains were significant predictors of turnover intentions and job performance. Strains were collectively significant in mediating between job characteristics and work-related outcomes, except in the case of job demands and job performance. The indirect effects of job characteristics on work-related outcomes were primarily through officers' work-related enthusiasm. The relative importance of work-related enthusiasm in mediating between job characteristics and work-related outcomes offers some support for previous research suggesting stronger associations between work-related constructs. Future research should examine whether there are substantial differences in the explanatory power of work-related enthusiasm and a popular related construct, work engagement.
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Psychology not elsewhere classified