Changes in skill variety predict job satisfaction and psychosomatic complaints

Keller, Anita; Semmer, Norbert K. (May 2013). Changes in skill variety predict job satisfaction and psychosomatic complaints. In: European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (eawop). Münster, Germany. 22.-25.05.2013.

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Skill variety in terms of opportunities for utilizing different skills is an important element of job design; it is associated with well-being and health, but most pertinent research is cross-sectional. Positive associations with well-being, and with intellectual flexibility, have been shown longitudinally, but these studies focus on levels of skill variety at time 1 and do not use changes in skill variety as a predictor. We expect changes in skill variety to be associated with well-being in terms of higher job satisfaction and fewer psychosomatic complaints.
Skill variety, job satisfaction, and psychosomatic complaints were assessed in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2010 (N = 317 young employees). Data were analyzed using latent growth modeling.
Skill variety decreased over the first three years after labor market entry. Initial levels of skill variety predicted higher job satisfaction in 2010. Steeper decreases in skill variety from 2005 to 2007 predicted lower levels of job satisfaction and more psychosomatic complaints three years later.
This longitudinal study used only self-report.
Research/Practical Implications
Our results extend the often found association between challenging work content and job satisfaction in terms of a) showing it for young employees, b) longitudinally, c) not only for initial level but also for changes, and d) for psychosomatic complaints; they underscore the importance of maintaining a high level of challenging work content beyond the initial phase by enriching work as routine increases.
Compared to the few existing longitudinal studies, we focus on changes and their relations with well-being.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Keller, Anita (A), Semmer, Norbert Karl


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Anita Keller

Date Deposited:

05 May 2014 11:08

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:33


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