- Associations between supportive leadership and employees self-rated health in an occupational sample
- International Journal of Behavioral Medicine
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Background: Protecting the health of the work force has become an important issue in public health research.
Purpose: This study aims to explore potential associations between supportive leadership style (SLS), an aspect of leadership behavior, and self-rated health (SRH) among employees.
Method: We drew on cross-sectional data from a cohort of industrial workers (n = 3,331), collected in 2009. We assessed employees' ratings of supportive, employee-oriented leadership behavior at their job, their SRH, and work stress as measured by the effort-reward model and scales measuring demands, control, and social support. Logistic regression estimated odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between the perception of poor SLS and poor SRH controlling for work-related stress and other confounders. Sensitivity analyses stratified models by sex, age, and managerial position to test the robustness of associations.
Results: Perception of poor SLS was associated with poor SRH [OR 2.39 (95 % CI 1.95-2.92)]. Although attenuated following adjustment for measures of work-related stress and other confounders [OR 1.60 (95 % CI 1.26-2.04)], the magnitude, direction, and significance of this association remained robust in stratified models in most subgroups.
Conclusion: SLS appears to be relevant to health in the workplace. Leadership behavior may represent a promising area for future research with potential for promoting better health in a large segment of the adult population.
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