Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2015;41(1):43-53    pdf full text


Job demands and alcohol use: testing a moderated mediation model

by Nielsen MB, Finne LB, Christensen JO, Knardahl S

Objectives The aim of this two-wave prospective study was to determine how and when job demands are related to alcohol use among employees. By integrating the Job Demands–Control model with the Tension-Reduction theory, we tested a conditional process (moderated mediation) model in which job demands were suggested to have an indirect association with subsequent alcohol use through psychological distress, and where this association was moderated by perceived job control.

Method The model was tested in a prospective sample comprising 3642 respondents from a wide variety of occupations. The time-lag between baseline and follow-up was approximately two years. Work factors were measured with scales from the General Nordic Questionnaire for Psychological and Social Factors at Work. Psychological distress was assessed with the 10-item version of the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist. Alcohol use was measured with a global question about how many units of alcohol respondents consumed in a regular week.

Results Findings from a comprehensive set of both cross-sectional and prospective analyses in both the main sample and specific subgroups provided little support for the proposed theoretical model. While the cross-sectional results yielded some support to the study hypotheses, no support for the theoretical relationships in question were found in the time-lagged data.

Conclusions Although the cross-sectional findings point to a relationship between the study variables, the investigated relationships were not supported longitudinally. Hence, while job demands and job control are related to alcohol use, they seem to have little direct, indirect, and conditional impact on alcohol use over a two-year time period

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2006;32(6):443-462  2006;32(6):463-472