Date: 24 Feb 2009

Psychosocial working conditions and depressive symptoms among Swedish employees

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Abstract

Purpose

To investigate prospective associations between working conditions and depressive symptoms in Swedish men and women.

Methods

The study was based on SLOSH (N = 5,985), a follow-up of a representative sample of gainfully employed Swedes 16–64 years of age from the Swedish Work Environment Survey 2003. Work demands, decision authority, support and conflicts at work were measured in 2003. Depressive symptoms were recorded in 2006 by a short version of the depression subscale of the Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90). Linear regression analyses were performed.

Results

After adjusting for an indicator of previous depressive symptoms and covariates, conflicts with fellow workers in men were associated with depressive symptoms, whereas demands (men), support from fellow workers (women), and decision authority predicted lower scores.

Conclusion

The study supports the theory that decision authority, support and conflicts at work are predictive of depressive symptoms in the general Swedish working population.