Workaholism Among Medical Residents: It Is the Combination of Working Excessively and Compulsively That Counts

Wilmar B. Schaufeli, Arnold B. Bakker, Frank M.M.A. van der Heijden, Jelle T. Prins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Workaholism is defined as an irresistible inner drive to work excessively. Accordingly, it is assessed with a questionnaire that measures working excessively (WE) and working compulsively (WC), representing the behavioral and cognitive aspects of workaholism, respectively. A cluster-analysis using a nationwide sample of Dutch medical residents (N = 2,115) resulted in 4 groups: (a) workaholics, (b) nonworkaholics, (c) hardworking residents, and (d) compulsive working residents. As predicted, the combination of WE and WC was related to the most unfavorable conditions in terms of resident's job demands (i.e., work overload, work-home conflict, overwork, role conflict, mental demands, emotional demands, and organizational demands), job resources (i.e., social support from colleagues, participation in decision making, feedback, supervisory coaching, and opportunities to learn), well-being (i.e., burnout, happiness, recovery), and organizational behavior (i.e., "presenteeism," and medical performance). Taken together, our results confirm the suitability of conceptualizing workaholism as an inner drive to work excessively hard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-272
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • job stress
  • medical residents
  • workaholism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology


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