Job boredom as an antecedent of four states of mental health: life satisfaction, positive functioning, anxiety, and depression symptoms among young employees – a latent change score approach

Jie Li, Janne Kaltiainen, Jari J. Hakanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Job boredom has been generally associated with poorer self-rated health but the evidence is mainly cross-sectional and there is a lack of a holistic mental health approach. We examined the temporal relationships between job boredom and mental health indicators of life satisfaction, positive functioning, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Methods: We analyzed a two-wave postal survey data of adults aged 23 to 34 that was collected from the Finnish working population between 2021 and 2022 (n = 513). Latent change score modelling was used to estimate the effects of prior levels of job boredom on subsequent changes in mental health indicators, and of prior levels of mental health indicators on subsequent changes in job boredom. Results: Job boredom was associated with subsequent decreases in life satisfaction and positive functioning and increases in anxiety and depression symptoms. Of these associations, job boredom was more strongly associated with changes in positive functioning and anxiety symptoms than with changes in life satisfaction. Conclusions: Our two-wave study suggests that job boredom, a motivational state of ill-being in the work domain, spills over into general mental health by decreasing life satisfaction and positive functioning and increasing anxiety and depression symptoms. Our findings contribute to the understanding of the potential detrimental effects of job boredom and its nomological network. From a practical perspective, workplaces are adviced to improve working conditions that mitigate job boredom and thus promote employees’ mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number907
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Job Boredom
  • Latent Change Score Modelling
  • Life Satisfaction
  • Positive Mental Health

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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