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Psychosocial factors at work and subsequent depressive symptoms in the Gazel cohort

Isabelle Niedhammer, Marcel Goldberg, Annette Leclerc, Isabelle Bugel and Simone David
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
Vol. 24, No. 3 (June 1998), pp. 197-205
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40966762
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Psychosocial factors at work and subsequent depressive symptoms in the Gazel cohort
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Abstract

Objective This study attempted to establish whether psychosocial factors at work are predictors of depressive symptoms in a prospective cohort of men and women employed in a wide variety of occupations by the French national company Electricité De France — Gaz De France (EDF-GDF). Methods This prospective cohort study followed the Gazel cohort by means of annual self-administered questionnaires and independent data obtained from the medical and personnel departments of the company. The selfadministered questionnaire, in 1995, provided information about the psychosocial work environment characteristics, psychological job demands, decision latitude, and social support at work. Depressive symptoms were assessed by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale in the 1996 questionnaire. Potential confounding variables were age, marital status, and number of children, assessed in the 1995 questionnaire, stressful personal and occupational events during the previous 12 months, assessed in the 1996 questionnaire, and educational level, occupation and previous absenteeism for mental disorders, assessed from the independent data provided by EDFGDF. The subjects were 11552 workers (8422 men aged 46—56 years in 1995 and 3130 women aged 41—56 years) who answered the 1995 and 1996 questionnaires and were working during this period. Results High levels of psychological demands, low levels of decision latitude, and low levels of social support at work were significant predictors of subsequent depressive symptoms in both the men and the women. These results were unchanged after adjustment for potential confounding variables. Conclusions The results strongly support the possibility that psychosocial factors at work are predictive of depressive symptoms.

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