Job-Related Tension Index measure


This measure (Job-Related Tension) was developed by Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, and Snoek (1964). It describes employee perceptions of job stress using 15 items asking about the frequency of stressful occurrences and the extent of role overload. This mea­ sure assesses psychological symptoms of stress, such as feelings of having too much work, not having the means and materials to accomplish assign­ ments or projects, and generally being unable to handle all of the work. In some studies, the items have been used to form subscales for role ambiguity, role overload, and resource inadequacy (Jamal, 1990; Shirom & Mayer, 1993).


Coefficient alpha values ranged from .80 to .89 (Abraham & Hansson, 1996; Bennett, Lehman, & Forst, 1999; Duxbury & Higgins, 1991; Iverson, 1997; Rush et al., 1985; Seibert, 1999). Coefficient alpha values for the subscales were .76 for role ambiguity and.74 for resource inadequacy and ranged from .65 to .82 for role overload (Jamal, 1990; Shirom & Mayer, 1993).


Job-related tension correlated positively with control problems at work, work involvement, work expectations, lack of psychosocial support from a mentor, and family expectations (Abraham & Hansson, 1996; Duxbury & Higgins, 1991; Seibert, 1999). Job tension correlated negatively with quality of work life, job satisfaction, goal attainment, organizational commitment, self-esteem at work, quality of family life, and life satisfaction (Abraham & Hansson, 1996; Duxbury & Higgins, 1991; Seibert, 1999). In Jamal (1990), the job tension subscales for role ambiguity, role overload, and resource inadequacy all correlated positively with psychosomatic problems. All the subscales except role overload correlated negatively with job satisfaction. In Shirom and Mayer (1993), role overload correlated positively with parent­ teacher conflict, teacher-principal conflict, and work-home conflict.


Kahn, R. L., Wolfe, D. M., Quinn, R. P., & Snoek, J. D. (with Rosenthal, R A.). (1964). Organizational stress: Studies in role conflict and ambiguity. New York: John Wiley. Items were taken from pp. 424-425. Reproduced with permission of the author.

Response options are 1 = never, 2 = rarely, 3 = sometimes, 4 = rather often, and 5 = nearly all the time. It is optional to use “doesn’t apply” and this response is coded with score of 0.


Items and instructions:

All of us occasionally feel bothered by certain kinds of things in our work. How frequently do you feel bothered by each of these?

  1. Feeling that you have too little authority to carry out the responsibilities assigned to you
  2. Being unclear on just what the scope and responsibilities of your job are
  3. Not knowing what opportunities for advancement or promotion exist for you
  4. Feeling that you have too heavy a work load, one that you can’t possibly finish during an ordinary workday
  5. Thinking that you’ll not be able to satisfy the conflicting demands of various people over you
  6. Feeling that you’re not fully qualified to handle your job
  7. Not knowing what your supervisor thinks of you, how he [she] evaluates your performance
  8. The fact that you can’t get information needed to carry out your job
  9. Having to decide things that affect the lives of individuals, people that you know
  10. Feeling that you may not be liked and accepted by the people you work with
  11. Feeling unable to influence your immediate supervisor’s decisions and actions that affect you
  12. Not knowing just what the people you work with expect of you
  13. Thinking that the amount of work you have to do may interfere with how well it gets done
  14. Feeling that you have to do things on the job that are against your better judgment
  15. Feeling that your job tends to interfere with your family life

This content is licensed under a CC-BY license. The CC-BY licenses grant rights of use the scales in your studies (the measurement instrument and its documentation), but do not replace copyright. This remains with the copyright holder, and you have to cite us as the source.

Mohammed Looti, PSYCHOLOGICAL SCALES (2023) Job-Related Tension Index measure. Retrieved from DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31575.96163