Because work demands and lack of social support seem to be prospectively linked to sleep problems, and sleep problems are linked to depression, sleep problems may play a role in the relationship between these work characteristics and depressive symptoms. In order to shed more light on this relationship, the current study investigated whether disturbed sleep is a mediator in the longitudinal relationships between work demands, social support, and depression.
Longitudinal cohort study with repeated survey measures on four occasions.
2,017 working participants from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012.
Work demands (four items) and social support (six items) were assessed with the Demand Control Questionnaire, disturbed sleep (four items) with the Karolinska Sleep Questionnaire, and depressive symptoms with a brief subscale (six items) from the Symptom Checklist. Autoregressive longitudinal mediation models using structural equation modeling were tested. The work characteristics, and disturbed sleep, were found to be separately associated with depressive symptoms in subsequent waves. However, only demands were found to be longitudinally related to subsequent disturbed sleep. The longitudinal autoregressive models supported a weak mediating role of disturbed sleep in the relationship between demands and depressive symptoms (standardized beta 0.008, P