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  • 1.
    Aronsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Blom, Victoria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Work conditions for workers with good long-term health2010In: International Journal of Workplace Health Management, ISSN 1753-8351, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 160-172Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The aim of this paper is to investigate which work- and private life factors are associated with long-term health, operationalized as low sickness absence and low sickness presence. Design/methodology/approach – A representative sample of 2,297 individuals responded to a questionnaire on two occasions at an interval of one year. In total, 28 percent were classified as having good long-term health. Findings – Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that some quality-related work environment factors were rather strongly associated with long-term health. For some variables women showed a clear dose-response pattern on the three-level scale alternatives in relation to health, while men had a more asymmetric response pattern. The results are discussed in relation to the symmetry in the work environment factors, i.e. if there are different factors that explain health and illness. Practical implications – Issues concerning health and health-enhancing factors are of considerable interest to practitioners concerned with management issues, organizational structure, and rehabilitation. Originality/value – The paper shows the importance of including a positive health variable within the health research paradigm to supplement the dominance of variables focusing on illness and disease.

  • 2.
    Blom, Victoria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Contingent self-esteem, stressors and burnout in working women and men2012In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 43, no 2, p. 123-131Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: A high work involvement is considered central in the burnout process. Yet, research investigating how high work involvement and psychosocial stressors relate to burnout is scarce. High involvement in terms of performance-based self-esteem (PBSE) refers to individuals’ strivings to validate self-worth by achievements, a disposition linked to poor health. The aim of the present study was to examine longitudinally PBSE in relation to burnout while also taking into account work- and private life stressors. Participants: The sample consisted of 2121 working women and men. Methods: Main- and mediation effects were investigated using hierarchical regression analysis. Results: The results showed performance-based self-esteem mediated partially between the stressors and burnout. Performance-based self-esteem was the strongest predictor of burnout over time, followed by private life stressors. Women experienced more work stress than did men. Men had stronger associations between work stressors and burnout, while women had stronger associations between performance-based self-esteem and burnout. Conclusions: Individual characteristics along with both private life and work stressors are important predictors of burnout. Factors associated with burnout differ somewhat between women and men.

  • 3.
    Blom, Victoria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Striving for self-esteem: Conceptualizations and role in burnout2011Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    When self-esteem is dependent on competence individuals invest a great deal of effort in their accomplishments in order to validate themselves. The aim of the present thesis was to develop a theoretically sound and valid concept and measure of contingent self-esteem dependent on competence, and examine its vulnerable implications and role in burnout. In Study I a concept and measure of contingent self-esteem dependent on competence, termed competence-based self-esteem (CBSE), was developed. Confirmatory factor analyses showed its distinctiveness from other sources of self-esteem and revealed two dimensions comprising behaviors referring to: i) Self-esteem conditional upon competence and ii) Frustrated self-critical strivings. The new scale showed high reliability and gained both convergent and discriminative validity through different methods in different samples. Study II set out to experimentally test the vulnerable implications of CBSE in a performance situation. The results showed that high, as compared to low, scorers on the scale exhibited stronger physiological reactivity and momentary exertion coupled with frustrated mood. Study III focused on the role of self-esteem contingent on competence in the burnout process and its association with work- and private-life stressors over time in working women and men. The analyses showed that contingent self-esteem was a predictor of burnout. In addition, women scored higher on both contingent self-esteem and burnout and reported higher general life stress than did men, whereas men showed stronger associations between work stressors and burnout. The results of the three studies suggest that contingent self-esteem, where outcomes of one’s acts and performance serve to compensate an impoverished basic self-worth, facilitates the understanding of stress-related vulnerability and ill-health.

  • 4.
    Blom, Victoria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johnson, Maarit
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Patching, Geoffrey
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Physiological and behavioral reactivity when one's self-worth is staked on competence2011In: Individual Differences Research, ISSN 1541-745X, E-ISSN 2169-3951, Vol. 9, p. 138-152Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Contingent self-esteem, where one‟s self-value is staked on success and competence, is a particularly vulnerable disposition with impact on well-being. This study compared physiological and behavioral reactivity between individuals self-rated as high and low in competence based self-esteem (N = 61), in a performance situation. To assess reactivity we used a traditional overt measure of blood pressure and a novel, covert, measure of response force. The results show that high scorers in competence based self-esteem exhibited an overall pattern of stronger reactivity as indicated by higher blood pressure and response force as compared to low scorers.

  • 5.
    Blom, Victoria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johnson, Maarit
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Patching, Geoffrey
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Prestationsbaserad självkänsla och anspänning i en prestationssituation2008In: Stressforskningskongressen, 19-20 May 2008, Uppsala, Sverige, 2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Contingent self-esteem built on achievements and competence on a basis of impoverished fundamental self-love is labeled Competence-Based Self-Esteem (CBSE). Individuals with this cognitive-motivational structure tend to drive themselves to the extent that they risk their own health in their striving to compensate for their low basic self-esteem. This means that CBSE is a disposition that increases an individual’s vulnerability to stress and potentially increases the risk for future health problems. This study compared physiological reactivity between high and low scorers (N = 61) on ‘The Competence Based Self-esteem Scale’ (Johnson & Blom, 2007) in a performance situation. To assess reactivity we used a traditional overt measure of blood pressure and a novel, covert measure of response force measured by a sensor installed in the computer mouse. The results showed that high scorers on the CBSE scale exhibited significantly stronger physiological reactivity indicated by higher blood pressure and more forceful responses, particularly in the first phase of the performance session, as compared to low scorers. Generally, the results suggest that, when expected to perform well, individuals with high CBSE strive harder and exhibit more tension and frustration compared to those with low CBSE. These results suggest that CBSE has behavioral consequences relevant for work-related stress and ill health.

  • 6.
    Blom, Victoria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Johnson, Maarit
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Patching, Geoffrey
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Pushing oneself to ill health: Competence based self-esteem and physical reactivity2008In: Work, stress and health conference, 6-9 March 2008, Washington, USA, 2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research indicates that people who have a low basic self-esteem and pursue success and competence in order to validate the self often exceed their limits. They tend to drive themselves hard to the extent that they risk their own health when striving to compensate an impoverished fundamental self-love. This vulnerable cognitive-motivational structure, labeled competence based self-esteem, is associated with wellbeing in general and with burnout in particular. The aim of the present study was to investigate experimentally the effects of Competence based self-esteem (CBSE; Johnson & Blom, 2007) by comparing high and low scorers on the scale regarding different indicators of physiological reactivity in a performance situation. On the basis of current theoretical accounts it follows that high scorers would exhibit more reactivity than low scorers.

    Physiological reactivity was measured by three indices of blood pressure and a non-intrusive assessment of response force, indicating momentary exertion, measured by way of a force sensor installed in the computer mouse. As a complementary index of reactivity each individual’s perceived arousal was assessed. The participants were 61 undergraduate students extracted from a pool of 220 students who had responded to a questionnaire with the CBSE scale.

    The results showed that high as compared to low scorers in CBSE scale exhibited significantly stronger physiological reactivity and strain/effort indicated by higher general blood pressure and more forceful responses, particularly in the first phase of the performance session. In addition, high scorers reported more perceived frustration, tension and anxiety than low scorers. Generally, the results indicate that individuals with high CBSE, when expected to perform well, strive harder with more tense and frustrated feelings than those with low CBSE. These results are in line with previous research and coincide well with the theoretical formulations behind the CBSE measure. They also suggest that CBSE has behavioral consequences with relevance for work related stress and illness. Further research will address the role of environmental stress factors for CBSE structure, which promises to shed new light on important aspects of occupational health.

  • 7.
    Blom, Victoria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; The Swedish School of Sport and Health Science, Sweden.
    Svedberg, Pia
    Bergström, Gunnar
    Mather, Lisa
    Lindfors, Petra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
    Stress in paid and unpaid work as related to cortisol and subjective health complaints in women working in the public health care sector2017In: International Journal of Workplace Health Management, ISSN 1753-8351, E-ISSN 1753-836X, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 286-299Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Focusing on 420 women employed within the woman-dominated health care sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how any variation in their total workload (TWL) in terms of paid and unpaid work relate to various subjective health complaints (SHC) (n=420) and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).

    Design/methodology/approach: The authors explored how any variation in their TWL in terms of paid and unpaid work related cross-sectionally to SHC (n=420), and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).

    Findings: Hierarchical regression analyses showed that stress of unpaid work was most strongly related to diurnal variations in cortisol. Both stress of paid and unpaid work as well as TWL stress, but not hours spent on TWL, were related to SHC.

    Practical implications: Taken together, objective measures of hours spent on various TWL domains were unrelated to outcome measures while perceptions of having too much TWL and TWL stress were linked to both cortisol and SHC, i.e. how individuals perceive a situation seem to be more important for health than the actual situation, which has implications for research and efforts to reduce individual TWL.

    Originality/value: This study is unique in showing that unpaid work and perceptions having too much TWL relate to stress markers in women working in the public health care sector.

  • 8. Blom, Victoria
    et al.
    Sverke, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bodin, M.
    Bergström, G.
    Lindfors, Petra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Svedberg, P.
    Work–home interference and burnout in Swedish women and men: The importance of genetics and family environment2013In: Forum för arbetslivsforskning (FALF) - Changes in Working Life: Individual, Organizational, and Methodological Perspectives, Stockholm, Sweden, June 17-19, 2013, 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Genetic influences on perceived demands and burnout are shown in previous studies, suggesting genetic and shared environmental influences may underlie the associations between work–home interference and burnout. The present study sets out to increase the currently limited understanding of the biological and social correlates of work–home interference (WHI) by investigating whether WHI is related to burnout while taking sex, age, children, and genetic and shared environmental factors into account. A total of 13 730 individuals, including 2223 complete twin pairs, from the Swedish Twin Registry were included in the study. The effects of work–home conflict (WHC) and home–work conflict (HWC) on burnout between- and within-pairs were analyzed with Linear Mixed Models with and without stratification by sex. The results showed significant main effects of WHC and HWC on burnout and co-twin control analyses suggested that shared environmental factors may be involved in the association between HWC and burnout in women. As regards WHC and burnout, genetic or shared environmental factors did not seem to be involved. Adjustment for age and children did not change the results. The present study contributes with new knowledge of the mechanisms involved in the associations between work–home interference and burnout.

  • 9.
    Johnson, Maarit
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Blom, Victoria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Competence or relationships as a determinant of self-esteem: development and validity of two scales of contingent self-esteem.2006In: Journal of Psychosomatic Research: Special Issue on Neuropsychiatry. Abstracts for The 26th European Conference of Psychosomatic Research., 2006, p. 397-Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim and method: To distinguish between two different vulnerable self-structures, where individuals' perceived self-worth is defined either by accomplishments or emotional security, we developed two scales measuring Competence dependent self-esteem (SE) and Relation dependent self-esteem. Initially, responses (N = 216) to an item pool of 62 contingent SE items were subjected to exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses.

    Results: Two factors emerged indicating SE dependent on competence and SE dependent on emotional relations. On this basis two scales were developed which both yielded a structure consisting of two factors: Competence SE dimensions referred to (1) SE conditional upon competence/need to outperform others and (2) frustrated strivings/self-criticism. Relation SE dimensions reflected (1) love seeking/fear of rejection and (2) emotional suppression/compliance. The study revealed good reliability indexes for both scales, and evidence of construct validity is obtained in three samples. The scales and their subdimensions have theoretical and practical importance for studies on health and adjustment.

  • 10.
    Johnson, Maarit
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Blom, Victoria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Development and Validation of Two Measures of Contingent Self-Esteem2007In: Individual Differences Research, ISSN 1541-745X, Vol. 5, no 4, p. 300-328Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Defining contingent self-esteem (SE) as a structure arising from low basic SE and different self-validation needs, Competence based SE and Relation based SE scales were developed and validated in two independent samples (N = 215, N = 116). Confirmatory factor analyses conducted on 27 items of 62 original contingent SE items verified competence and relationships as distinct means of self validation in both samples. Further confirmatory analyses revealed two dimensions of Competence based SE: i) SE conditional upon competence and ii) frustrated self critical strivings, and three dimensions of Relation based SE: i) SE conditional upon love, ii) fear of rejection, and iii) compliance. The Competence based SE scale correlated positively with perfectionism and “toxic” achieving, and the Relationbased SE scale with affiliation and dependency needs. Further validity is provided by the constructs’ relation to the basic and earning SE model and by semantic differential tests of meanings attached to the words “work” and “relationships”. The scales provide internally consistent and valid measures of contingent SE useful for researchers and applied professionals.

  • 11.
    Lindfors, Petra
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Svedberg, P.
    Bergström, G.
    Mather, L.
    Blom, Victoria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
    Stress in paid and unpaid work as related to salivary cortisol measures and subjective health complaints in women working in the public sector2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: From a biopsychosocial approach, moderate intensity and variation between demands of different life domains are central to health. Focusing on different aspects of work and non-work demands, we investigated how total workload (TWL) and work-family conflict (WFC) related to the stress marker cortisol and to subjective health complaints (SHC) among women working in the public sector. Overall, we hypothesized that more TWL and WFC would be reflected in poorer health.

    Design/methodology: Data came from a study of 250 women working within the health care sector. All provided self-reports in questionnaires on time spent on TWL and associated stress perceptions, WFC and SHC. A subsample of 68 women provided salivary samples during one workday. These samples were analyzed for cortisol and used to compute aggregate cortisol measures. Hierarchical regression analyses were performed to investigate how TWL and WFC were related to cortisol and SHC respectively.

    Results: TWL stress from unpaid work was associated with cortisol. Also, stress from both paid and unpaid work, and TWL-stress, were related to SHC. Importantly, number of hours spent on paid and unpaid work were not linked to any health-related measure. Instead, stress perceptions were associated with both cortisol and SHC. This underscores the importance of individuals’ experiences of demands from different life domains for different health-related measures.

    Limitations: We included only women.

    Research/practical implications: Time use data are insufficient meaning that self-reports of individual experiences are needed.

    Originality/value: Combining biomarker data with self-reports is an obvious strength.

  • 12. Mather, Lisa
    et al.
    Blom, Victoria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology. The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Sweden; Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Bergström, Gunnar
    Svedberg, Pia
    An Underlying Common Factor, Influenced by Genetics and Unique Environment, Explains the Covariation Between Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Burnout: A Swedish Twin Study2016In: Twin Research and Human Genetics, ISSN 1832-4274, E-ISSN 1839-2628, Vol. 19, no 6, p. 619-627Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Depression and anxiety are highly comorbid due to shared genetic risk factors, but less is known about whether burnout shares these risk factors. We aimed to examine whether the covariation between major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and burnout is explained by common genetic and/or environmental factors. This cross-sectional study included 25,378 Swedish twins responding to a survey in 2005-2006. Structural equation models were used to analyze whether the trait variances and covariances were due to additive genetics, non-additive genetics, shared environment, and unique environment. Univariate analyses tested sex limitation models and multivariate analysis tested Cholesky, independent pathway, and common pathway models. The phenotypic correlations were 0.71 (0.69-0.74) between MDD and GAD, 0.58 (0.56-0.60) between MDD and burnout, and 0.53 (0.50-0.56) between GAD and burnout. Heritabilities were 45% for MDD, 49% for GAD, and 38% for burnout; no statistically significant sex differences were found. A common pathway model was chosen as the final model. The common factor was influenced by genetics (58%) and unique environment (42%), and explained 77% of the variation in MDD, 69% in GAD, and 44% in burnout. GAD and burnout had additive genetic factors unique to the phenotypes (11% each), while MDD did not. Unique environment explained 23% of the variability in MDD, 20% in GAD, and 45% in burnout. In conclusion, the covariation was explained by an underlying common factor, largely influenced by genetics. Burnout was to a large degree influenced by unique environmental factors not shared with MDD and GAD.

  • 13. Svedberg, Pia
    et al.
    Mather, L.
    Bergström, G.
    Lindfors, Petra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
    Blom, Victoria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Sweden.
    A twin study of work-home interference and the risk of future sickness absence with mental diagnoses2016In: European Journal of Public Health, Volume 26 Issue suppl_1, 2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Work-home interference has been proposed as an important explanation for sickness absence (SA). Previous studies show mixed results, and have not accounted for genetics and shared everyday environment (familial factors), or investigated diagnosis specific SA. The aim was to study if work-home interference predicts SA due to stress-related mental diagnoses, or SA due to other mental diagnoses, among women and men, when adjusting for various confounders and familial factors.

    Methods

    This prospective cohort study included 11,916 twins, 19-47 years (49% women).

    Data on work-to-home and home-to-work conflicts and relevant confounders were derived from a 2005 survey, and national register data on SA spells until 2013 were obtained. Odds Ratios (ORs) with 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) were calculated. Discordant twin pair design was applied to adjust for familial factors.

    Results

    For women, each one unit increase in work-to-home and home-to-work conflicts was associated with SA due to stress-related mental diagnoses and to SA due to other mental diagnoses, when adjusting for sociodemographic factors (ORs 1.15-1.31). With further adjustments for work, health-related or familial factors, none of the associations remained. For men, each one unit increase in work-to-home conflicts was associated with SA due to stress-related diagnoses (ORs 1.23-1.35), independently of confounders.

    Conclusions

    Work-to-home conflict was independently associated with future SA due to stress-related diagnoses among men only. Health and familial factors are important confounders to consider when researching work-home interference and SA, especially among women. Not including such confounders involves risking drawing incorrect conclusions.

1 - 13 of 13
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