Send to

Choose Destination
J Prev Med Public Health. 2019 May;52(3):161-169. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.19.002. Epub 2019 May 12.

Transformational Leadership and Depressive Symptoms in Germany: Validation of a Short Transformational Leadership Scale.

Author information

Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Social and Preventive Medicine, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.
Department for Business, Work and Organizational Psychology, Applied University Fresenius, Heidelberg, Germany.



The objective of the present study was to validate a shortened transformational leadership (TL) scale (12 items) comprising core TL behaviour and to test the associations of this shortened TL scale with depressive symptoms.


The study used cross-sectional data from 1632 employees of the overall workforce of a middle-sized German company (51.6% men; mean age, 41.35 years; standard deviation, 9.4 years). TL was assessed with the German version of the Transformational Leadership Inventory and depressive symptoms with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The structural validity of the core TL scale was assessed with confirmatory factor analysis. Associations with depressive symptoms were estimated with structural equation modelling and adjusted logistic regression.


Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling showed better model fit for the core TL than for the full TL score. Logistic regression revealed 3.61-fold (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.20 to 5.93: women) to 4.46-fold (95% CI, 2.86 to 6.95: men) increased odds of reporting depressive symptoms (HADS score >8) for those in the lowest tertile of reported core TL.


The shortened core TL seems to be a valid instrument for research and training purposes in the context of TL and depressive symptoms in employees. Of particular note, men reporting poor TL were more likely to report depressive symptoms.


Depression; Germany; Leadership; Occupational health

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Publishing M2Community Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center