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Linda Waite, Health & Well-Being of Adults over 60

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Working Conditions and Depressive Symptoms: A Prospective Study of US Adults

Publication Abstract

Burgard, Sarah, Michael R. Elliott, Kara Zivin, and James S. House. 2013. "Working Conditions and Depressive Symptoms: A Prospective Study of US Adults." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 55(9): 1007-14.

OBJECTIVE: Prior longitudinal studies of negative working conditions and depression generally have used a single exposure indicator, such as job strain, and have required consistent availability of the measure across waves and selection of only those working at all measurement points. METHODS: Up to four waves of the Americans' Changing Lives study (1986 to 2001/2) and item-response theory (IRT) models were used to generate wave-specific measures of negative working conditions. Random-intercept linear mixed models assessed the association between the score and depressive symptoms. RESULTS: Adjusting for covariates, negative working conditions were associated with significantly greater depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: A summary score of negative working conditions allowed the use of all available working conditions measures and predicted depressive symptoms in a nationally representative sample of US workers observed for up to 15 years. Linear mixed models also allowed retention of intermittent workers.

DOI:10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182a299af (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3951142. (Pub Med Central)

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