University of Oulu

Kiema‐Junes, H., Saarinen, A., Muukkonen, H., Väyrynen, S., Ala‐Mursula, L. & Hintsanen, M. (2020). Dimensions of social support in the experience of work engagement in middle age: A Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 61, 679– 689.

Dimensions of social support in the experience of work engagement in middle age : a Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study

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Author: Kiema‐Junes, Heli1; Saarinen, Aino1; Muukkonen, Hanni1;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-10-06


So far, the relationship between the various dimensions of social support and work engagement has not been widely examined in the literature. In this study, we examined the relationship of social support at work (from a colleague or supervisor) and social support in one’s private life (from a spouse, relative or friend) with various dimensions of work engagement (vigor, dedication and absorption). The participants (N = 5,259–5,376, 46 years‐old, 52.7% women) came from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study. Social support was evaluated with the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ), and work engagement was assessed with a short version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES‐9). The data were analyzed using linear regression analyses. The results showed that high social support at work (p < 0.001) and in one’s private life (p < 0.001) were associated with higher total work engagement, higher vigor, higher dedication, and higher absorption. These findings were adjusted for gender, marital status, education and occupational status. The results were essentially unchanged when they were additionally adjusted for job strain and effort‐reward imbalance. To conclude, our findings indicate that the experience of overall social support may play a role in the experience of work engagement.

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Series: Scandinavian journal of psychology
ISSN: 0036-5564
ISSN-E: 1467-9450
ISSN-L: 0036-5564
Volume: 61
Issue: 5
Pages: 679 - 689
DOI: 10.1111/sjop.12640
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
Funding: This work was funded by the University of Oulu and the Finnish Work Environment Fund.
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology published by Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.