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J Psychosom Res. 2015 Nov;79(5):391-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2015.08.011. Epub 2015 Sep 2.

Bidirectional relations between work-related stress, sleep quality and perseverative cognition.

Author information

1
Radboud University, Behavioural Science Institute, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: m.vanlaethem@psych.ru.nl.
2
Radboud University, Behavioural Science Institute, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: d.beckers@psych.ru.nl.
3
Radboud University, Behavioural Science Institute, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: m.kompier@psych.ru.nl.
4
Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: goran.kecklund@stressforskning.su.se.
5
TNO Department of Work, Health & Care, Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address: seth.vandenbossche@tno.nl.
6
Radboud University, Behavioural Science Institute, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: s.geurts@psych.ru.nl.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In this longitudinal two-wave study, bidirectional relations between work-related stress and sleep quality were examined. Moreover, it was investigated whether perseverative cognition is a potential underlying mechanism in this association, related to both work-related stress and sleep quality.

METHODS:

A randomly selected sample of Dutch employees received an online survey in 2012 and 2013. Of all invited employees, 877 participated in both waves. Structural equation modeling was performed to analyze the data.

RESULTS:

We found evidence for reversed relations between work-related stress and sleep quality. Specifically, when controlling for perseverative cognition, work-related stress was not directly related to subsequent sleep quality, but low sleep quality was associated with an increase in work-related stress over time. Moreover, negative bidirectional associations over time were found between perseverative cognition and sleep quality, and positive bidirectional associations were found between work-related stress and perseverative cognition. Lastly, a mediation analysis showed that perseverative cognition fully mediated the relationship between work-related stress and sleep quality.

CONCLUSION:

The study findings suggest that perseverative cognition could be an important underlying mechanism in the association between work-related stress and sleep quality. The bidirectionality of the studied relationships could be an indication of a vicious cycle, in which work-related stress, perseverative cognition, and sleep quality mutually influence each other over time.

KEYWORDS:

Longitudinal study; Occupational stress; Rumination; Sleep quality; Temporal associations; Work preoccupation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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