Does chronic work stress matter? Trajectories of working conditions and employee's health and well-being 10-years later

Igic, Ivana; Semmer, Norbert K.; Keller, Anita; Elfering, Achim; Kälin, Wolfgang; Tschan, Franziska (8 May 2015). Does chronic work stress matter? Trajectories of working conditions and employee's health and well-being 10-years later (Unpublished). In: 11th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health - "Work, Stress and Health 2015: Sustainable Work, Sustainable Health, Sustainable Organizations". Atlanta, US. 06. - 09.05.2015.

(a) Statement of the Problem: Stressful working conditions have been linked to various health impairments in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Whereas acute stress reactions often are temporarily and may will be adaptive and protective (McEwen, 2004; Selye & Fortier, 1949) chronic and long-lasting stress reactions are likely to be particularly harmful to human health and well-being (e.g. Karasek, 1979, Meijman & Mulder, 1998, McEwen, 1998, Taris & Komper, 2003).
The number of the longitudinal studies that explicitly address the issue of chronic and cumulative exposure to unfavorable and favorable working conditions and the effect of across-time changes of working characteristics on health and well-being has been growing in the last decades. These studies usually test whether stable and long-lasting exposure to unfavorable and favorable working characteristics predicts health outcomes - cumulative exposure hypothesis (e.g. Amick et al. 2002) and whether changes in working conditions across time predict health outcomes - the parallel change hypothesis (Chandola, Brunner & Marmot, 2006). Usually, the subgroups of individuals determined by number of waves in which they were exposed to favorable (e.g. active jobs) vs. unfavorable (e.g. high strain) working characteristics are compere in regard to health indicators. This kind of analysis is great improvement over the “common” longitudinal studies, nevertheless, there are some methodological weaknesses (e.g. a dichotomization of one quantitative measure to predefine whether one has high or low level of work demands).
In the current study we have applied a person-centered analysis for classifying and comparing qualitatively different subgroups in a longitudinal data - the latent growth mixture modeling (GMM). We address the following questions: Do multiple longitudinal change patterns of different working demands over 10-years could be identified. If so, do these longitudinal change patterns predict individual health and well-being 10-years later.
Further, the distinction between concurrent vs. chronic stressors seems to be of importance. The working conditions that are unfavorable in the every measurement wave are also unfavorable in the wave when the outcomes were assessed. Therefore in the current study we also explore does effects still remain significant after adjustment for the level of current working conditions.
b) Procedures: The study is based on ten-year longitudinal data from the ÆQUAS study (“Work Experience and Quality of Life in Switzerland”). The data were collected in five waves among young workers in five occupations (salespeople, electronic technicians, bank clerks, nurses and cooks) over their first ten years in the labor market. For the current study, we used data of 483 participants of the initial sample (N=1394).

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Igic, Ivana (A), Semmer, Norbert Karl, Keller, Anita (A), Elfering, Achim, Kälin, Wolfgang


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Ivana Igic

Date Deposited:

14 Jun 2018 12:22

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:35


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