Girardi, D., De Carlo, A., Dal Corso, L., Andreassen, C. S., & Falco, A.
Is workaholism associated with inflammatory response? The moderating role of work engagement
The aim of this study was to investigate the association between two different forms of heavy work investment, namely workaholism and work engagement, and serum levels of the proinﬂammatory cytokine interleukin-17 (IL-17), a possible biomarker of stress. Given the different motivational underpinnings and outcomes of workaholism and work engagement and drawing on the allostatic load and the effort-recovery models, we hypothesized that workaholism is positively associated with IL-17, and that work engagement buffers this association. Workers in an Italian healthcare organization (88 females and 31 males) completed a self-report questionnaire, and then underwent blood sample collection. Data were analysed using moderated multiple regression. Results showed that workaholism was positively associated with IL-17, controlling for the effect of gender, age, and body mass index. Work engagement buffered this association, which was nonsignificant when work engagement was high. To reduce the risk of future health complaints, interventions should be aimed at preventing workaholism and promoting work engagement.
Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 2019, Vol. 26, pp. 305-322, DOI: 10.4473/TPM26.2.9