Julia Åhlin

Julia Åhlin

PhD Student

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Visiting address Frescat Hagväg 16A
Postal address Stressforskningsinstitutet 106 91 Stockholm

About me


Julia is a PhD student at the Stress Research Institute, in the Epidemiology unit since 2015. Her PhD project is titled Rhythm of the job stress blues: Psychosocial working conditions and depression in working life and across retirement. The project is about work stress and mental ill health. More specifically, it aims at improving the understanding of the associations between different psychosocial work characteristics and depression, for example how high job demands, or low workplace social support may affect the risk of developing depression. One study specifically investigate the transition from work to retirement and how the previous working conditions may affect depression before and after retirement. The data material in this project comes from the SLOSH study (Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health) collected between 2006 and 2018. Longitudinal data analyses such as trajectory modeling and structural equation modeling are used.


Master of Science in Public Health Epidemiology, Karolinska Institute (2014).

Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Sciences (Psychology), Lund University (2012).


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2018. Julia K. Åhlin (et al.). International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 91 (3), 263-272


    Depression is a global health concern. High job demands, low job control, and the combination (high strain) are associated with depression. However, few longitudinal studies have investigated changed or repeated exposure to demands and control related to depression. We investigated how trajectories of exposure to job demands and control jointly influence subsequent depression.


    We included 7949 subjects from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health, who completed questionnaires of perceived job demands and control, and depressive symptoms from 2006 to 2014. None of them were depressed between 2006 and 2012. Univariate and joint group-based trajectory models identified groups with similar development of demands and control across 2006–2012. Logistic regression estimated the risk for symptoms of major depression in 2014 according to joint trajectory groups.


    The joint trajectory model included seven groups, all with fairly stable levels of demands and control over time. Subjects in the high strain and active (high demands and high control) trajectories were significantly more likely to have subsequent major depressive symptoms compared to those having low strain, controlling for demographic covariates (OR 2.15; 95% Cl 1.24–3.74 and OR 2.04; 95% CI 1.23–3.40, respectively). The associations did not remain statistically significant after adjusting for previous depressive symptoms in addition to demographic covariates.


    The results indicate that the levels of job demands and control were relatively unchanged across 6 years and suggest that long-term exposure to a high strain or active job may be associated with increased risk for subsequent depression.

  • 2018. Julia K. Åhlin (et al.). Journal of Affective Disorders 235, 535-543

    Background: Job demands, job control and social support have been associated with depressive symptoms. However, it is unknown how these work characteristics are associated with different trajectories of depressive symptoms, which this study aimed to examine. Methods: We included 6679 subjects in the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH), who completed biennial questionnaires in 2006-2016. Group-based trajectory models identified groups with similar development of depressive symptoms. Multinomial logistic regression estimated associations between baseline demands, control, social support and trajectories of depressive symptoms. Results: We identified six depression trajectories with varying severity and stability across four measurements. High job demands and low social support, but not low control, were associated with higher probability of belonging to subsequent trajectories with higher symptom level compared to very low symptom level. Adjusted risk ratios ranged from 1.26, 95% CI = 1.06-1.51 (low symptom trajectory) to 2.51, 95% CI = 1.43-4.41 (persistent severe symptom trajectory). Results also indicated that onset of high demands, low control and low social support increases depressive symptoms over time. Limitations: The results were based on self-reported data and all individuals did not have complete data in all waves. Conclusions: The results indicated that especially perceptions of high job demands and low social support are associated with higher or increasing levels of depressive symptoms over time. This support the supposition that high job demands, and low social support may have long-term consequences for depressive symptoms and that interventions targeting job demands and social support may contribute to a more favourable course of depression.

Show all publications by Julia Åhlin at Stockholm University

Last updated: January 9, 2019

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