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  • 1.
    Albrecht, Sophie C.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Radboud University, The Netherlands.
    Rajaleid, Kristiina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Leineweber, Constanze
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    The longitudinal relationship between control over working hours and depressive symptoms: Results from SLOSH, a population-based cohort study2017In: Journal of Affective Disorders, ISSN 0165-0327, E-ISSN 1573-2517, Vol. 215, p. 143-151Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Psychosocial work factors can affect depressive moods, but research is inconclusive if flexibility to self-determine working hours (work-time control, WTC) is associated with depressive symptoms over time. We investigated if either sub-dimension of WTC, control over daily hours and control over time off, was related to depressive symptoms over time and examined causal, reversed-causal, and reciprocal pathways.

    METHODS: The study was based on four waves of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health which is a follow-up of representative samples of the Swedish working population. WTC was measured using a 5-item index. Depressive symptoms were assessed with a brief subscale of the Symptom Checklist. Latent growth curve models and cross-lagged panel models were tested.

    RESULTS: Best fit was found for a model with correlated intercepts (control over daily hours) and both correlated intercepts and slopes (control over time off) between WTC and depressive symptoms, with stronger associations for control over time off. Causal models estimating impacts from WTC to subsequent depressive symptoms were best fitting, with a standardised coefficient between -0.023 and -0.048.

    LIMITATIONS: Results were mainly based on self-report data and mean age in the study sample was relatively high.

    CONCLUSION: Higher WTC was related to fewer depressive symptoms over time albeit small effects. Giving workers control over working hours - especially over taking breaks and vacation - may improve working conditions and buffer against developing depression, potentially by enabling workers to recover more easily and promoting work-life balance.

  • 2.
    Albrecht, Sophie
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Radboud University, The Netherlands.
    Tucker, Philip
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Swansea University, UK.
    Leineweber, Constanze
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Investigating the factorial structure and availability of work time control in a representative sample of the Swedish working population2016In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 320-328Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims: Past research has often neglected the sub-dimensions of work time control (WTC). Moreover, differences in levels of WTC with respect to work and demographic characteristics have not yet been examined in a representative sample. We investigated these matters in a recent sample of the Swedish working population. Methods: The study was based on the 2014 data collection of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health. We assessed the structure of the WTC measure using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Differences in WTC by work and demographic characteristics were examined with independent sample t-tests, one-way ANOVAs and gender-stratified logistic regressions. Results: Best model fit was found for a two-factor structure that distinguished between control over daily hours and control over time off (root mean square error of approximation = 0.06; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.09; Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.99). Women, shift and public-sector workers reported lower control in relation to both factors. Age showed small associations with WTC, while a stronger link was suggested for civil status and family situation. Night, roster and rotating shift work seemed to be the most influential factors on reporting low control over daily hours and time off. Conclusions: Our data confirm the two-dimensional structure underlying WTC, namely the components 'control over daily hours' and 'control over time off'. Women, public-sector and shift workers reported lower levels of control. Future research should examine the public health implications of WTC, in particular whether increased control over daily hours and time off can reduce health problems associated with difficult working-time arrangements.

  • 3.
    Leineweber, Constanze
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Falkenberg, Helena
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
    Albrecht, Sophie C.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Parent's Relative Perceived Work Flexibility Compared to Their Partner Is Associated With Emotional Exhaustion2018In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 9, article id 640Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A number of studies have found that control over work conditions and hours is positively related to mental health. Still, potential positive and negative effects of work flexibility remain to be fully explored. On the one hand, higher work flexibility might provide better opportunities for recovery. On the other hand, especially mothers may use flexibility to meet household and family demands. Here, we investigated the association between parent's work flexibility, rated relative to their partner, and emotional exhaustion in interaction with gender. Additionally, gender differences in time use were investigated. Cross-sectional analyses based on responses of employed parents to the 2012 wave of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) were conducted (N = 2,911). Generalized linear models with gamma distribution and a log-link function were used to investigate associations between relative work-flexibility (lower, equal, or higher as compared to partner), gender, and emotional exhaustion. After control for potential confounders, we found that having lower work flexibility than the partner was associated with higher levels of emotional exhaustion as compared to those with higher relative work flexibility. Also, being a mother was associated with higher levels of emotional exhaustion, independent of possible confounders. An interaction effect between low relative work flexibility and gender was found in relation to emotional exhaustion. Regarding time use, clear differences between mothers' and fathers' were found. However, few indications were found that relative work flexibility influenced time use. Mothers spent more time on household chores as compared to fathers, while fathers reported longer working hours. Fathers spent more time on relaxation compared with mothers. To conclude, our results indicate that lower relative work flexibility is detrimental for mental health both for mothers and fathers. However, while gender seems to have a pronounced effect on time use, relative work flexibility seems to have less influence on how time is used. Generally, mothers tend to spend more time on unpaid work while fathers spend longer hours on paid work and report more time for relaxation.

  • 4.
    Tucker, Philip
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Swansea University, United Kingdom.
    Albrecht, Sophie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Beckers, Debby G. J.
    Leineweber, Constanze
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Work time control, sleep & accident risk: A prospective cohort study2016In: Chronobiology International, ISSN 0742-0528, E-ISSN 1525-6073, Vol. 33, no 6, p. 619-629Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We examined whether the beneficial impact of work time control (WTC) on sleep leads to lower accident risk, using data from a nationally representative survey conducted in Sweden. Logistic regressions examined WTC in 2010 and 2012 as predictors of accidents occurring in the subsequent 2 years (N = 4840 and 4337, respectively). Sleep disturbance and frequency of short sleeps in 2012 were examined as potential mediators of the associations between WTC in 2010 and subsequent accidents as reported in 2014 (N = 3636). All analyses adjusted for age, sex, education, occupational category, weekly work hours, shift work status, job control and perceived accident risk at work. In both waves, overall WTC was inversely associated with accidents (p = 0.048 and p = 0.038, respectively). Analyses of the sub-dimensions of WTC indicated that Control over Daily Hours (influence over start and finish times, and over length of shift) did not predict accidents in either wave, while Control over Time-off (CoT; influence over taking breaks, running private errands during work and taking paid leave) predicted fewer accidents in both waves (p = 0.013 and p = 0.010). Sleep disturbance in 2012 mediated associations between WTC/CoT in 2010 and accidents in 2014, although effects' sizes were small (effectWTC = -0.006, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.018 to -0.001; effectCoT = -0.009, 95%CI = -0.022 to -0.001; unstandardized coefficients), with the indirect effects of sleep disturbance accounting for less than 5% of the total direct and indirect effects. Frequency of short sleeps was not a significant mediator. WTC reduces the risk of subsequently being involved in an accident, although sleep may not be a strong component of the mechanism underlying this association.

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