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Job demands, control and social support as predictors of trajectories of depressive symptoms
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3642-6391
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3127-5077
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8806-5698
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Number of Authors: 52018 (English)In: Journal of Affective Disorders, ISSN 0165-0327, E-ISSN 1573-2517, Vol. 235, p. 535-543Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Job demands, job control and social support have been associated with depressive symptoms. However, it is unknown how these work characteristics are associated with different trajectories of depressive symptoms, which this study aimed to examine. Methods: We included 6679 subjects in the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH), who completed biennial questionnaires in 2006-2016. Group-based trajectory models identified groups with similar development of depressive symptoms. Multinomial logistic regression estimated associations between baseline demands, control, social support and trajectories of depressive symptoms. Results: We identified six depression trajectories with varying severity and stability across four measurements. High job demands and low social support, but not low control, were associated with higher probability of belonging to subsequent trajectories with higher symptom level compared to very low symptom level. Adjusted risk ratios ranged from 1.26, 95% CI = 1.06-1.51 (low symptom trajectory) to 2.51, 95% CI = 1.43-4.41 (persistent severe symptom trajectory). Results also indicated that onset of high demands, low control and low social support increases depressive symptoms over time. Limitations: The results were based on self-reported data and all individuals did not have complete data in all waves. Conclusions: The results indicated that especially perceptions of high job demands and low social support are associated with higher or increasing levels of depressive symptoms over time. This support the supposition that high job demands, and low social support may have long-term consequences for depressive symptoms and that interventions targeting job demands and social support may contribute to a more favourable course of depression.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 235, p. 535-543
National Category
Psychiatry Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157628DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.04.067ISI: 000432686900077PubMedID: 29689506OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157628DiVA, id: diva2:1228544
Available from: 2018-06-28 Created: 2018-06-28 Last updated: 2020-01-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Rhythm of the job stress blues: Psychosocial working conditions and depression in working life and across retirement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rhythm of the job stress blues: Psychosocial working conditions and depression in working life and across retirement
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A work environment characterized by poor psychosocial working conditions may lead to stress and mental health problems such as depression, a common and burdensome public health problem with significant consequences for individuals and for society at large. A number of psychosocial working characteristics have been found to be associated with increased depressive symptoms or clinical depression. This thesis aims to further examine how certain psychosocial working conditions predict depressive symptoms over time, in working life and across retirement. This was done by using several repeated measures from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) in 2006–2018.

In study I, we investigated how long-term patterns of exposure to job demands and job control were associated with major depressive symptoms. Those with high strain (high demands, low control) and active (high demands, high control) jobs were more likely to have subsequent major depressive symptoms compared to those with low strain jobs (low demands, high control). However, after adjusting for baseline depressive symptoms and various demographic factors, the associations did not remain statistically significant.

In study II, we assessed how job demands, job control and workplace social support were related to long-term development of depressive symptoms. A perception of high job demands and low social support predicted higher or increasing depressive symptom trajectories. In addition, negative changes in job demands, job control and social support were associated with increased symptoms, indicating that the onset of poor working conditions could negatively impact depressive symptoms.

In study III, we investigated simultaneous and lagged bidirectional associations between job demands, job control, balance between demands and control, social support, procedural justice, effort, reward, balance between efforts and rewards, and depressive symptoms, while controlling for individual time-stable characteristics. There were associations between all work stressors and depressive symptoms when measured simultaneously, except for job control. However, only efforts, were prospectively associated with depressive symptoms measured later.

In study IV, we examined how the same psychosocial working characteristics as in study III were associated with the development of depressive symptoms across retirement. Generally, depressive symptoms appeared to decrease across retirement. Job demands, job strain, social support, rewards, effort-reward imbalance and procedural justice, but to a lesser extent job control and efforts, were associated with a more negative and positive course of depressive symptoms across retirement. Especially, depressive symptoms decreased in relation to retirement for a small group with previously high exposure to work stress.

In conclusion, this thesis indicates that particularly perceptions of high job demands, low workplace social support and high work effort predict subsequent higher levels of depressive symptoms, and/or influence the course of symptoms both in working life and past retirement. In addition, changes in these types of conditions seemed to influence the course of depressive symptoms. Especially, the relief from previous exposure to work stress at retirement seemed to have a clear positive impact on depressive symptoms. These results contribute to strengthen the evidence of causality between these types of work stressors and depressive symptoms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University, 2019. p. 85
Series
Stockholm Studies in Public Health Sciences, ISSN 2003-0061 ; 2
Keywords
job stress, psychosocial working conditions, job demand-control-support model, effort-reward imbalance model, organizational justice, depressive symptoms, longitudinal studies, trajectory analysis, latent class analysis, fixed-effects regression
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Research subject
Public Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-168220 (URN)978-91-7797-652-3 (ISBN)978-91-7797-653-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-14, rum 207, Stressforskningsinstitutet, Frescati Hagväg 16 A, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2019-05-22 Created: 2019-04-29 Last updated: 2020-05-13Bibliographically approved

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Åhlin, Julia K.Rajaleid, KristiinaWesterlund, HugoMagnusson Hanson, Linda L.
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