What is it about?

Research already demonstrated that lifetime stressors affect the development of inidividual resilience. But what about stressors at work? With our study we have shown that moderate levels of job challenge demands (e.g., task complexity) enhance psychological and marginally enhance physiological resilience given an acute laboratory stress event. Job hindrance demands (e.g. daily hassles) were unrelated to employee resilience.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that moderate challenge demands may help employees to better adapt to acute stress events and thus, demonstrate resilience. This is particularly important for employees who face increased risks of stress exposure. However, it is essential to keep in mind: There is a challenge-related threshold. If challenge demands are too high, they likely become harmful.


I hope this article fuels the discussion on how we should design work to enhance employee resilience. It outlines that it is relevant to not only consider job resources, but also the type (challenge vs. hindrance) and quantity of job demands.

Miriam Schilbach
Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Do challenge and hindrance job demands prepare employees to demonstrate resilience?, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, June 2021, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/ocp0000282.
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