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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1390; doi:10.3390/ijerph14111390

Do Effort and Reward at Work Predict Changes in Cognitive Function? First Longitudinal Results from the Representative German Socio-Economic Panel

1
Institute of Occupational, Social, and Environmental Medicine, Centre for Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine, University of Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
2
Department of Social Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health and Nursing Research, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
3
Senior Professorship onWork Stress Research, Life Science Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
4
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 15 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
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Abstract

It has been suggested that work characteristics, such as mental demands, job control, and occupational complexity, are prospectively related to cognitive function. However, current evidence on links between psychosocial working conditions and cognitive change over time is inconsistent. In this study, we applied the effort–reward imbalance model that allows to build on previous research on mental demands and to introduce reward-based learning as a principle with beneficial effect on cognitive function. We aimed to investigate whether high effort, high reward, and low over-commitment in 2006 were associated with positive changes in cognitive function in terms of perceptual speed and word fluency (2006–2012), and whether the co-manifestation of high effort and high reward would yield the strongest association. To this end, we used data on 1031 employees who participated in a large and representative study. Multivariate linear regression analyses supported our main hypotheses (separate and combined effects of effort and reward), particularly on changes in perceptual speed, whereas the effects of over-commitment did not reach the level of statistical significance. Our findings extend available knowledge by examining the course of cognitive function over time. If corroborated by further evidence, organization-based measures in the workplace can enrich efforts towards preventing cognitive decline in ageing workforces. View Full-Text
Keywords: effort–reward imbalance model; cognitive function; working population; longitudinal analysis; Socio-Economic Panel effort–reward imbalance model; cognitive function; working population; longitudinal analysis; Socio-Economic Panel
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MDPI and ACS Style

Riedel, N.; Siegrist, J.; Wege, N.; Loerbroks, A.; Angerer, P.; Li, J. Do Effort and Reward at Work Predict Changes in Cognitive Function? First Longitudinal Results from the Representative German Socio-Economic Panel. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1390.

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