Effort-reward imbalance in other social roles

Stress in close relationships (non-reciprocal exchange) - Questionnaires

The violation of a fundamental norm of social relationships, the norm of social reciprocity, usually evokes strong negative emotions which in the long run may adversely affect health. In particular, this holds true if efforts spent in advance were not reciprocated by adequate rewards. The non-monetary rewards of esteem and appreciation are central in this regard. Non-reciprocal social exchange is analysed in three areas, among couples, between parents and children, and in close relationships beyond the family.


Chandola, T., Marmot, M. and Siegrist, J. (2007). Failed reciprocity in close social relationships and health: Findings from the Whitehall II study. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 63 (4), 403-411, doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2007.07.012,  URL www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002239990700284X.

von dem Knesebeck, O., Dragano, N., Moebus, S., Jöckel, K.-H., Erbel, R. and Siegrist, J. (2009). Psychosoziale Belastungen in sozialen Beziehungen und gesundheitliche Einschränkungen. Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik, medizinische Psychologie, 59 (05), 186-193, doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1067421  .

von dem Knesebeck, O. and Siegrist, J. (2003). Reported nonreciprocity of social exchange and depressive symptoms: Extending the model of effort-reward imbalance beyond work. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 55 (3), 209-214, doi: 10.1016/S0022-3999(02)00514-7  .


House and family work

Sperlich, S., Arnhold-Kerri, S., Engelke, S., Noeres, D., Collatz, J. and Geyer, S. (2009). Development of a questionnaire for measuring effort-reward imbalance in household and family work. Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik, medizinische Psychologie, 59, 177-185, doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1067386.

Sperlich, S., Peter, R. and Geyer, S. (2012). Applying the effort-reward imbalance model to household and family work: a population-based study of German mothers. BMC Public Health, 12 (1), 12, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-12,  URL www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/12.

Sperlich S, Arnhold-Kerri S, Siegrist J, Geyer S (2013) The mismatch between high effort and low reward in household and family work predicts impaired health among mothers. Eur J Public Health. 23: 893-898.

School work (children and students)

Fukuda, S., Yamano, E., Joudoi, T., Mizuno, K., Tanaka, M., Kawatani, J., Takano, M., Tomoda, A., Imai-Matsumura, K., Miike, T. and Watanabe, Y. (2010). Effort-Reward Imbalance for Learning is Associated with Fatigue in School Children. Behavioral Medicine, 36 (2), 53-62, doi: 10.1080/08964281003774919,  URL www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08964281003774919.

Guo H, Yang W, Cao Y et al. (2014) Effort-reward imbalance at school and depressive symptoms in Chinese adolescents: The role of family socioeconomic status. Int J Environ Res Public Health 11: 6085-6098

Laftman, S.B., Modin, B., Ostberg, V., Hoven, H., Plenty, S. (2014). Effort-reward imbalance in the school setting: Associations with somatic pain and self-rated health. Scand J Public Health. Epub.

Li, J., Shang, L., Wang, T., Siegrist, J. (2010): Measuring effort-reward imbalance in school settings: a novel approach and its association with self-rated health. J Epidemiol 20(2): 111-8.

Li J, Shang L, Galatsch M, Siegrist J, Müller BH, Hasselhorn HM for the NEXT Study group (2013) Psychosocial work environment and intention to leave the nursing profession: a cross-national prospective study of 8 countries. Int J Health Services 43: 519-536
Shang L, Li J, Li Y, Wang T, Siegrist J. (2014) Stressful psychosocial school environment and suicidal ideation in Chinese adolescents. Soc Psychiatr Psychiatr Epidemiol..49: 205-210

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