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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182a299af
Original Articles

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

Burgard, Sarah A. PhD; Elliott, Michael R. PhD; Zivin, Kara PhD; House, James S. PhD

Continued Medical Education
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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.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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