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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181e80842
Original Articles

Does Workplace Social Capital Buffer the Effects of Job Stress? A Cross-Sectional, Multilevel Analysis of Cigarette Smoking Among U.S. Manufacturing Workers.

Sapp, Amy L. ScD; Kawachi, Ichiro MD, ScD; Sorensen, Glorian PhD; LaMontagne, Anthony D. ScD; Subramanian, S.V. PhD

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate whether workplace social capital buffers the association between job stress and smoking status.

Methods: As part of the Harvard Cancer Prevention Project's Healthy Directions—Small Business Study, interviewer-administered questionnaires were completed by 1740 workers and 288 managers in 26 manufacturing firms (84% and 85% response). Social capital was assessed by multiple items measured at the individual level among workers and contextual level among managers. Job stress was operationalized by the demand-control model. Multilevel logistic regression was used to estimate associations between job stressors and smoking and test for effect modification by social capital measures.

Results: Workplace social capital (both summary measures) buffered associations between high job demands and smoking. One compositional item—worker trust in managers—buffered associations between job strain and smoking.

Conclusion: Workplace social capital may modify the effects of psychosocial working conditions on health behaviors.

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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