• health services research;
  • management;
  • nurses;
  • nursing;
  • strain;
  • stress;
  • workforce



The Triple Match Principle offers insight into the interactive interplay between job demands and job resources in the prediction of work-related strain. The aim of this article was to examine the interplay among job demands, job resources and strain in the nursing profession (the Triple Match Principle) and to gain insight into potential generational differences by investigating generation as a moderator of that interplay.


No research has been done to evaluate generational differences in the Triple Match Principle. In a context of nursing shortages, it seems important to examine the relevance of the Triple Match Principle with respect to different generations of nurses.


Cross-sectional study.


A total of 1254 public healthcare sector nurses in Quebec, Canada, completed a questionnaire in the autumn of 2010. The questionnaire was used to assess cognitive, emotional and physical job demands and resources; psychological distress; psychosomatic complaints; and turnover intention.


The results supported the Triple Match Principle and showed that job resources were more likely to buffer the effect of job demands on strain as the degree of match in qualitative dimension among demands, resources and strain increased (33·3% of triple-match interactions, 22·22% of double-match interactions and 16·67% non-match interactions were significant). Moreover, generation played a key role in this interplay, as it increased the number of significant qualitative interactions among job demands, job resources and strain.


The results underscore the necessity of providing adequate job resources tailored to the specific job demands nurses face, to counteract the negative effects of those demands.