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Susanna ToivanenProfessor/researcher

Research projects


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Job strain and sense of coherence

    2021. Joacim Ramberg (et al.). Scandinavian Journal of Public Health


    Background: Teachers constitute an occupational group experiencing high levels of stress and with high sick-leave rates. Therefore, examining potentially protective factors is important. While prior research has mainly focused on the link between teachers’ own experiences of their work environment and stress-related outcomes, it is also possible that colleagues’ perception of the work environment and their possibilities for dealing with work-related stress contribute to influencing individual teachers’ stress. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate how teachers’ reports of high job strain (i.e. high demands and low control) and sense of coherence (SOc), as well as the concentration of colleagues reporting high strain and high SOc, were associated with perceived stress and depressed mood. Methods: The data were derived from the Stockholm Teacher Survey, with information from two cross-sectional web surveys performed in 2014 and in 2016 (N=2732 teachers in 205 school units). Two-level random intercept linear regression models were performed. Results: High job strain at the individual level was associated with higher levels of perceived stress and depressed mood, but less so for individuals with high SOc. furthermore, a greater proportion of colleagues reporting high SOc was associated with lower levels of perceived stress and depressed mood at the individual level. Conclusions: High SOC may be protective against work-related stress among teachers. Additionally, the proportion of colleagues reporting high SOC was related to less individual stress, suggesting a protective effect of school-level collective SOC.

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  • Impact of Work-Family Conflict on Sleep Complaints

    2021. Aline Silva-Costa (et al.). Frontiers In Public Health 9


    Background: Balancing work and family demands is often a challenge. Family and job responsibilities may affect many aspects of health, and sleep is an important issue. Work-family conflict (WFC) refers to situations where it is difficult to reconcile family and professional demands. WFC can act in two directions: work-to-family conflicts occur when job demands interfere in family life; family-to-work conflicts arise when family demands interfere with job performance. This study evaluated whether dimensions of WFC-time- and strain-related, work-to-family conflict; family-to-work conflict; and lack of time for self-care and leisure due to work and family demands-were cross-sectionally and longitudinally associated with sleep complaints, by gender.

    Methods: The sample comprised 9,704 active workers (5,057 women and 4,647 men) from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil). Standardized questionnaires were used to collect data. WFC was measured at baseline (2008-2010), and sleep complaints were measured at baseline and approximately 4 years after the first visit (2012-2014). To test the association between the four WFC dimensions and sleep complaints, crude and multiple logistic regressions were conducted to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. The adjusted model included age, education, marital status, hours worked and work schedule.

    Results: Mean age at baseline was 48.2 years. Most participants were educated to University degree level (54.5%), married (68.2%) and worked <= 40 h/week (66.1%). At baseline, 48.3% of women and 41.1% of men reported sleep complaints. Frequent WFC was reported by women and men, respectively, as follows: time-related work-to-family conflict (32.6 and 26.1%), strain-related work-to-family conflict (25.3 and 16.0%), family-to-work conflict (6.6 and 7.6%) and lack of time for self-care (35.2 and 24.7%). For both women and men, time- and strain-related work-to-family conflicts and conflicts for lack of time for self-care were cross-sectionally and longitudinally associated with sleep complaints. The findings also suggest a weaker and non-significant association between family-to-work conflict and sleep complaints.

    Conclusions: The statistically significant associations observed here underline the importance of reducing WFC. In the modern world, both WFC and sleep problems are increasingly recognized as frequent problems that often lead to ill health, thus posing a public health challenge.

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  • A balancing act

    2021. Emma Hagqvist (et al.). Small Business Economics 57, 821-834


    The safety and health of many workers employed in micro-enterprises (with less than 10 employees) is poor, and legal arrangements related to working environments remain a considerable challenge in these enterprises. The aim of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of how Swedish occupational safety and health (OSH) inspectors perceive themselves as inspectors and their role as bureaucratic regulators when meeting micro-enterprises. In the study, 11 Swedish inspectors were interviewed and asked to reflect on their role as inspectors, how they perceive themselves as inspectors and what their role is as bureaucratic regulators when inspecting micro-enterprises. The qualitative content analysis revealed one theme-a balancing act-and three categories: one inspector, many roles; interactions with micro-entrepreneurs; and exercise the profession as an inspector. The results showed that OSH inspectors experience challenges in meeting the requirements of street-level bureaucracy while addressing the needs of micro-enterprises. In conclusion, OSH inspectors need organisational support to develop inspection models and enforcement styles tailored to micro-enterprises, as this could ease their work and contribute to better inspection outcomes. The implications of this study include a need for increased competence about working environment issues in micro-enterprises, development of enforcement styles among the inspectors, emphasis of the importance of specific governmental projects for OSH and development of models in this enterprise group. Additionally, development of micro-enterprise managers' competence and ability to handle issues related to the working environment and health were also important.

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Show all publications by Susanna Toivanen at Stockholm University