Original Research

Incremental validity of work-related sense of coherence in predicting work wellness

Sanet C. van der Westhuizen
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 44 | a1467 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v44i0.1467 | © 2018 Sanet C. Van Der Westhuizen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 June 2017 | Published: 22 March 2018

About the author(s)

Sanet C. van der Westhuizen, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Orientation: Sense of coherence and, more recently, work-related sense of coherence are regarded as significant variables in promoting the management of employees’ wellness in modern organisations.


Research purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether work-related sense of coherence, as a context-specific application of sense of coherence, provides incremental validity over and above sense of coherence in explaining indicators of work wellness.


Motivation for the study: It is important to know if the context-specific, work-related sense of coherence is a better predictor of work wellness in comparison with general sense of coherence in order to guide interventions aimed at the development and enhancement of employees’ wellness.


Research approach, design and method: A cross-sectional survey design was used with a convenience sample (N = 734) of part-time and full-time working adults completing an online module at a distance education institution. A biographical questionnaire, the Work-related sense of coherence (SoC) Questionnaire, the Orientation to Life Questionnaire, the Fatigue Scale and Work Engagement Scale were administered. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed to achieve the objective of the study.


Main findings: Work-related sense of coherence displayed incremental validity over and above that of sense of coherence in predicting work engagement and fatigue. However, sense of coherence was a stronger predictor of fatigue, while work-related sense of coherence was a stronger predictor of work engagement.


Practical managerial implications: In planning interventions to address the work engagement or fatigue of employees, work-related sense of coherence could be used as a practical indicator of coherent work experiences, especially in predicting work engagement.


Contribution: The results of the study should provide new insight into the shared variance between work-related sense of coherence and sense of coherence. The results indicated that the factors are interrelated but independent and that work-related sense of coherence adds incremental variance in predicting work engagement and fatigue in the context of work.


sense of coherence; work-related sense of coherence; comprehensibility; manageability; meaningfulness; fatigue; work engagement


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Crossref Citations

1. Sense of Coherence, Burnout, and Work Engagement: The Moderating Effect of Coping in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Jeremy Mitonga-Monga, Claude-Hélène Mayer
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  vol: 17  issue: 11  first page: 4127  year: 2020  
doi: 10.3390/ijerph17114127