Age-related associations between work over-commitment and zest for work among Swedish employees from a cross-sectional and longitudinal perspective


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Publication Details

Author list: Knutsson, Anders

Publication year: 2017

Start page: 269

End page: 279

Number of pages: 11

ISSN: 1051-9815

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/WOR-172555

View additional information: View in Web of Science


BACKGROUND: In aging societies, zest for work may be pivotal when deciding to stay occupationally active longer. Psychosocial work stress is a prevalent public health problem and may have an impact on zest for work. Work over-commitment (WOC) is a personal coping strategy for work stress with excessive striving and a health risk. However, the long-term effect of WOC on zest for work is poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the age-related associations of work over-commitment with zest for work. METHODS: During 1996-1998 and 2000-2003, predominantly industrial workers (n = 2940) participated in the WOLF-Norrland study and responded to a questionnaire referring to socio-demographics, WOC, zest for work, effort-reward imbalance proxies, and mental health. Age-adjusted multiple logistic regressions were performed with original and imputed datasets. RESULTS: Cross-sectionally, work overcommitted middle-aged employees had an increased prevalence of poor zest for work compared to their contemporaries without WOC (OR: 3.74 [95%-CI 2.19; 6.40]). However, in a longitudinal analysis associations between onset of poor zest for work and the WOC subscales need for approval (OR: 3.29 [95%-CI 1.04; 10.37]) and inability to withdraw from work (OR: 5.14 [95%-CI 1.32; 20.03]) were observed. CONCLUSION: The longitudinal findings among older employees could be relevant regarding the expected need to remain occupationally active longer.


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