Relating age, decision authority, job satisfaction, and mental health: A study of construction workers

Sara Zaniboni, Donald M. Truxillo, Jennifer R. Rineer, Todd E. Bodner, Leslie B. Hammer, Mariah Krainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Job autonomy is a critical job characteristic in the construction industry, with lower levels of autonomy compared to the general working population. Moreover, there is a paucity of work on individual difference moderators, such as age, considering the effect of job autonomy in important outcomes, such as job satisfaction and mental health. The purpose of the present study was to test a model of moderated-mediation, in which the interaction between decision authority (i.e., a type of autonomy) and age affects job satisfaction, which in turn affects mental health. The model tested is significant, and as expected, decision authority increased the satisfaction of older construction workers more than their younger colleagues, which in turn increased their mental health. We discuss our results in terms of selective optimization and compensation theory and implications for organizational practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-435
Number of pages8
JournalWork, Aging and Retirement
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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