Sarah A. Burgard, PhD, and colleagues of the Institute for Social Research at University of Michigan used an approach called item response theory, and analyzed the relationship between working conditions and depressive symptoms in a nationally representative sample of working-age adults.
The study included four waves of data collection over 15 years in nearly 1,900 respondents.
The results showed that workers with a higher total "negative working conditions score" also had higher scores for depression. For workers with the total highest scores, negative working conditions accounted for about one-third of the standard deviation in depressive symptoms.
Researchers concluded saying that the findings suggested the need to consider the role of good jobs in enhancing worker productivity and reducing the costs of depression for workers, their families, and healthcare systems.
The study is published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.