Academia de Studii Economice Bucuresti

Amfiteatru Economic
AN ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS RESEARCH PERIODICAL
Facultatea de Business si Turism

Heavy Work Investment and Psychopathology: Internalizing and Externalizing Disorders as Antecedents and Outcomes

Author:Yura Loscalzo and Marco Giannini

JEL:I120

DOI:10.24818/EA/2020/S14/1301

Keywords:anxiety, depression, psychiatric disorders, workaholism, work addiction, work engagement, sensation seeking.

Abstract:
Workaholism and work engagement are two types of Heavy Work Investment (HWI) that have been widely studied. However, the literature on the role of internalizing and externalizing disorders as antecedents and outcomes of these two types of HWI is scant. This study aims to analyze, through two path models, if workaholism and work engagement predict the main forms of psychopathology as evaluated through the Symptom Checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R). Also, it analyzes if psychopathology and sensation seeking predict workaholism and work engagement to shed light on the internalizing and/or externalizing nature of workaholism. Besides the two path models, we also performed MANOVAs and Mann-Whitney tests to analyze differences in psychopathology and sensation seeking between workers with high and low levels of workaholism and work engagement, as well as between disengaged and engaged workaholics. The participants are 690 Italian workers (44.8% males) with a mean age of 38.99±12.45. The results showed that workaholism predicts higher psychopathology, while work engagement predicts lower psychological symptoms. Though, even if depression and boredom susceptibility negatively predict work engagement, it is also positively predicted by somatization. Moreover, workaholism is positively predicted by psychoticism only. Therefore, this study suggests that workaholism might be defined as the declination at work of a personality disorder, and that work engagement might be a coping strategy for workers experiencing somatic symptoms. Finally, preventive interventions should target both workaholism and work engagement, as high work engagement does not seem to protect engaged workaholics from psychological impairment.
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