Original Research

The Job Demands-Resources model: Further evidence for the buffering effect of personal resources

Maxime A. Tremblay, Deanna Messervey
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 37, No 2 | a876 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v37i2.876 | © 2011 Maxime A. Tremblay, Deanna Messervey | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 November 2009 | Published: 23 May 2011

About the author(s)

Maxime A. Tremblay, Department of National Defence, Canada
Deanna Messervey, Department of National Defence, Canada


Orientation: In work and organisational psychology, the adverse effects of job demands have often been demonstrated empirically for various indicators of job strain.

Research purpose: Using the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model as a theoretical framework, the present study examined the role of compassion satisfaction, conceptualised as a personal resource, in buffering the relationship between job demands and job strain.

Motivation for the study: Accordingly, four demanding aspects of the job (i.e. role overload, insufficiency, ambiguity and conflict) and one personal resource (i.e. compassion satisfaction) were used to test the central hypothesis that the interaction between (high) job demands and (low) personal resources produces the highest levels of anxiety and depression as indicators of job strain.

Research design, approach and method: Hypotheses were tested amongst 122 military chaplains.

Main findings: Results showed that compassion satisfaction partially moderated the relationship between job demands and job strain. More specifically, when compassion satisfaction was high, the effect of role overload on job strain was significantly reduced. However, the relationships between the other three role stressors and job strain were not offset by compassion satisfaction.

Practical/managerial implications: The theoretical and practical implications of these findings for the JD-R model are discussed.

Contribution/value-add: Despite the limitations of this study, the present findings still have important implications for future research and practice. Our findings highlight the fact that the empowerment of employees’ personal resources, as outlined in the JD-R model, may not only be of value for employees to thrive, but may also be particularly beneficial in terms of compassion satisfaction being viewed as a protective factor to adverse working conditions.


Job Demands-Resources model; Personal Resources, Need Satisfaction; Compassion Satisfaction; Job Strain


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