• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of oenvmedOccupational and Environmental MedicineCurrent TOCInstructions for authors
Occup Environ Med. Feb 2005; 62(2): 105–112.
PMCID: PMC1740950

The relationship between job satisfaction and health: a meta-analysis

Abstract

Background: A vast number of published studies have suggested a link between job satisfaction levels and health. The sizes of the relationships reported vary widely. Narrative overviews of this relationship have been published, but no systematic meta-analysis review has been conducted.

Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 485 studies with a combined sample size of 267 995 individuals was conducted, evaluating the research evidence linking self-report measures of job satisfaction to measures of physical and mental wellbeing.

Results: The overall correlation combined across all health measures was r = 0.312 (0.370 after Schmidt-Hunter adjustment). Job satisfaction was most strongly associated with mental/psychological problems; strongest relationships were found for burnout (corrected r = 0.478), self-esteem(r = 0.429), depression (r = 0.428), and anxiety(r = 0.420). The correlation with subjective physical illness was more modest (r = 0.287).

Conclusions: Correlations in excess of 0.3 are rare in this context. The relationships found suggest that job satisfaction level is an important factor influencing the health of workers. Organisations should include the development of stress management policies to identify and eradicate work practices that cause most job dissatisfaction as part of any exercise aimed at improving employee health. Occupational health clinicians should consider counselling employees diagnosed as having psychological problems to critically evaluate their work—and help them to explore ways of gaining greater satisfaction from this important aspect of their life.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (97K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Winefield AH, Tiggemann M, Goldney RD. Psychological concomitants of satisfactory employment and unemployment in young people. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 1988 Jul;23(3):149–157. [PubMed]
  • Wanous JP, Reichers AE, Hudy MJ. Overall job satisfaction: how good are single-item measures? J Appl Psychol. 1997 Apr;82(2):247–252. [PubMed]
  • Kinicki Angelo J, Mckee-Ryan Frances M, Schriesheim Chester A, Carson Kenneth P. Assessing the construct validity of the job descriptive index: a review and meta-analysis. J Appl Psychol. 2002 Feb;87(1):14–32. [PubMed]
  • Greenland S, Schlesselman JJ, Criqui MH. The fallacy of employing standardized regression coefficients and correlations as measures of effect. Am J Epidemiol. 1986 Feb;123(2):203–208. [PubMed]

Articles from Occupational and Environmental Medicine are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats: