The demand-induced strain compensation model is a theoretical job stress model that has been tested in different kinds of empirical study in several countries. To measure key concepts in the model (job demands and job resources), the demand-induced strain compensation questionnaire (DISQ) was developed and has been used in many empirical studies. However, most studies neither focused on the psychometric properties of the DISQ nor tested it cross-nationally. In this study, we examined the psychometric properties of the DISQ tested on Italian (n = 422) and Dutch (n = 1629) employees. Results indicated that the six-factor model, consisting of cognitive, emotional and physical job demands as well as cognitive, emotional and physical job resources, provided a better fit to the data than an alternative two-factor model (demands and resources only). Findings were invariant across Italian and Dutch samples. Internal consistencies were satisfactory. Additionally, the six dimensions of DISQ were found to be meaningfully related to employee active learning behaviour, emotional exhaustion and musculoskeletal disorders. Results suggest the DISQ questionnaire is a valid and reliable instrument to measure the proposed dimensions of job demands and job resources in both Italian and Dutch work contexts. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.