Relationships between role overload and work engagement among employees A moderated mediation model

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Yukyeong Kim
Hyejeen Lee
HyungIn Park


This study investigated the mechanisms of the relationships between role overload and three dimensions of work engagement. It was hypothesized that psychological detachment would mediate the relationship between role overload and work engagement, and the indirect effect of role overload on work engagement through psychological detachment would be conditional on job crafting and marital status. Consistent with our hypothesis, the moderating effect of job crafting on the relationship between role overload and psychological detachment was significant in a sample of 446 workers. That is, job crafting alleviated the negative impact of role overload on psychological detachment. The interaction between marital status and psychological detachment was also significant for vigor; however, the direction was different from what was expected. For the married, vigor was relatively constant regardless of the level of psychological detachment, but for the unmarried, the more the psychological detachment the lower the vigor. In addition, this difference was observed more for women than men. In case of women, marital status also moderated the relationship between psychological detachment and dedication. Although the direction was unexpected, there was a conditional indirect effect of role overload on vigor and dedication through psychological detachment depending on the level of job crafting and marital status combined with sex differences. There was no conditional indirect effect for absorption. Implications and limitations of this study, and future research directions were discussed.


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Kim, Y., Lee, H., & Park, H. (2018). Relationships between role overload and work engagement among employees: A moderated mediation model. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 31(1), 249–279.
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