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Too Committed to Switch Off—Capturing and Organizing the Full Range of Work-Related Rumination from Detachment to Overcommitment

  • Work-related thoughts during off-job time have been studied extensively in occupational health psychology and related fields. We provide a focused review of the research on overcommitment—a component within the effort–reward imbalance model—and aim to connect this line of research to the most commonly studied aspects of work-related rumination. Drawing on this integrative review, we analyze survey data on ten facets of work-related rumination, namely (1) overcommitment, (2) psychological detachment, (3) affective rumination, (4) problem-solving pondering, (5) positive work reflection, (6) negative work reflection, (7) distraction, (8) cognitive irritation, (9) emotional irritation, and (10) inability to recover. First, we apply exploratory factor analysis to self-reported survey data from 357 employees to calibrate overcommitment items and to position overcommitment within the nomological net of work-related rumination constructs. Second, we leverage apply confirmatory factor analysis to self-reported survey data from 388 employees to provide a more specific test of uniqueness vs. overlap among these constructs. Third, we apply relative weight analysis to assess the unique criterion-related validity of each work-related rumination facet regarding (1) physical fatigue, (2) cognitive fatigue, (3) emotional fatigue, (4) burnout, (5) psychosomatic complaints, and (6) satisfaction with life. Our results suggest that several measures of work-related rumination (e.g., overcommitment and cognitive irritation) can be used interchangeably. Emotional irritation and affective rumination emerge as the strongest unique predictors of fatigue, burnout, psychosomatic complaints, and satisfaction with life. Our study is intended to assist researchers in making informed decisions on selecting scales for their research and paves the way for integrating research on the effort–reward imbalance and work-related rumination.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Oliver Weigelt, J. Charlotte Seidel, Lucy Erber, Johannes Wendsche, Yasemin Z. Varol, Gerald M. Weiher, Petra Gierer, Claudia Sciannimanica, Richard Janzen, Christine J. Syrek
Parent Title (English):International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Article Number:3573
Number of pages:29
Place of publication:Basel
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2023/02/17
Copyright:© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license
Funding:This research was funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (Az. 96 849, “The role of work in the development of civilization diseases”). We gratefully acknowledge funding of the article processing charges by the Open Access Publishing Fund of Leipzig University supported by the German Research Foundation within the program Open Access Publication Funding.
Keyword:affective rumination; burnout; irritation; negative work reflection; overcommitment; positive work reflection; problem-solving pondering; psychological detachment; satisfaction with life; work-related rumination
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Entry in this database:2023/03/02
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International