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Positive and Negative Mood Trajectories and Their Relationship With Work Ability, Self-Rated Health, and Life Satisfaction: A 13-Year Follow-Up Study

Airila, Auli MSc; Hakanen, Jari J. PhD; Luukkonen, Ritva PhD; Lusa, Sirpa PhD; Punakallio, Anne PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 7 - p 779–785
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182988925
Original Articles

Objective: To investigate the change trajectories of positive and negative moods and their relationship to work ability, self-rated health, and life satisfaction in a three-wave 13-year follow-up study.

Methods: The data, consisting of Finnish firefighters (n = 360), were collected via questionnaires in 1996, 1999, and 2009.

Results: Four distinct mood trajectories were identified by latent class growth modeling: (1) high positive, (2) high positive but decreasing, (3) moderately positive, and (4) high negative. The trajectory groups were differentially related to well-being. Members of the high positive trajectory had better well-being than members of other latent mood trajectories.

Conclusions: Different trajectories exist in positive and negative moods, and these trajectories are differentially related to well-being. Developing work environments in which a positive mood can flourish is beneficial in terms of better well-being among employees.

From the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Mrs Airila and Drs Hakanen, Luukkonen, Lusa, and Punakallio), Helsinki, Finland; and Department of Social Research (Mrs Airila), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Address correspondence to: Auli Airila, MSc, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Development of Work and Organizations, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, 00250 Helsinki, Finland (

This study was supported by grants from the Fire Protection Fund, Finland, and the Emergency Services College, Kuopio, Finland.

Authors Airila, Hakanen, Luukkonen, Lusa, and Punakallio have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

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