Age Differences in the Demand–Control Model of Work Stress: An Examination of Data From 15 European Countries

There have been many tests of Karasek's demand–control model of work stress. However, no studies have examined how the model may differentially apply to older versus younger workers. Due to age changes in cognitive processing, the psychological demands of jobs may interact differently with controls for younger versus older workers. Therefore, the study uses data from the Eurobarometer to examine how the demand–control model of work stress may function differently for older versus younger workers. The results indicate that different controls may in fact buffer different types of job demands for younger versus older workers. The findings reveal that only the interaction between problem solving and time to complete tasks was significant for younger workers. For older workers, however, the interactions between time deadlines and having sufficient time to complete tasks, autonomy, and the interaction between problem solving and schedule flexibility are significant predictors of self-reported stress.