Claudia Bernhard-Oettel


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Works at Department of Psychology
Telephone 08-16 38 86
Visiting address Frescati hagväg 14
Room 356
Postal address Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2019. Claudia Bernhard-Oettel (et al.). Psychologie Appliquee

    Drawing on stress and justice literature, we argue that perceptions of job insecurity induce feelings of low procedural justice, which has immediate and prolonged negative effects on health (depressive symptoms, sleep difficulties). Moreover, we explore whether the strength of the job insecurity-justice relationship differs between individuals as a function of their average level of job insecurity over time. Finally, we explore whether the procedural justice-health relationship differs between individuals as a function of variability in justice perceptions over time. We analyzed Swedish panel data from permanent workers over four consecutive waves (with a two-year time lag between waves) using multilevel analysis, separating within- and between-person variance. Results showed that job insecurity associated negatively with procedural justice at the same time point for all waves. Prolonged effects were less stable. We found immediate (but not prolonged) indirect effects of job insecurity on health outcomes via procedural justice. Average levels in job insecurity over time moderated the within-person job insecurity-justice relationship. However, variability in procedural justice over time did not moderate the within-person justice-health relationship. In conclusion, disentangling within- and between-person variability of job insecurity and justice perceptions contributes to the understanding of health effects.

  • 2019. Claudia Bernhard-Oettel, Constanze Leineweber, Hugo Westerlund. Economic and Industrial Democracy 40 (2), 215-237

    Labour market segmentation theories suggest that permanent and temporary workers are exposed to economic risks to different degrees, and differ in their working life quality and well-being. However, few studies have tested these ideas during times of economic crisis. Also, little is known about how the self-employed compare to permanent and temporary workers and are affected by economic downturns. This study investigated Swedish workers in different labour market segments before and after the financial crisis (2008 and 2010). More specifically, it looked at job characteristics and strain differences between permanent, temporary and self-employed workers. Data (N = 6335) came from SLOSH, a longitudinal representative cohort study of the Swedish workforce. Contradicting segmentation theories, differences between permanent and temporary workers were small. The self-employed stood out with favourable job characteristics, but comparable strain levels. During the crisis, work demands and strain declined for many of the workers studied here.

  • 2019. Johanna Stengård (et al.). Scandinavian Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 4 (1), 1-18

    When a workplace/organization does not fulfill one’s needs and wishes anymore, many individuals change to other workplaces/organizations. However, for some individuals this is not feasible as they perceive a lack of alternatives; they feel stuck in a non-preferred workplace (being locked in), or they may be in the risk zone of becoming locked in. Few studies have investigated the reasons for becoming locked in, and it is the aim of this study to investigate whether matching factors between work and individual and/or demographic factors can predict locked-in positions. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed—cross-sectionally and longitudinally (N = 3633–6449)—and showed that mismatch in terms of over-qualification and lack of physical and mental work abilities increased the odds ratios for being in locked-in positions. In contrast, working in relatively higher socioeconomic categories of both manual and non-manual work, commonly demanding higher education (vocational or academic), protected against being locked in. This study contributes to the career research field by studying determinants of disadvantageous career positions, which have been neglected in past research.

  • 2018. Aleksandra Bujacz (et al.). Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 23 (2), 223-236

    Theories of psychosocial working conditions assume an interaction of different work environment characteristics. Most studies detail various aspects of such interactions, while fewer investigate the comprehensive patterns of interrelated variables. This exploratory study distinguishes patterns of psychosocial working conditions, describes their characteristics, and investigates their change over 6 years. The working conditions of 1,744 high-skilled workers in Sweden, of a representative sample of the working population, were empirically classified into 4 distinct patterns: (a) the Supporting pattern with a very low workload, very low time pressure, medium learning opportunities, high creativity requirements, and very high autonomy; (b) the Constraining pattern with a very low workload, very low time pressure, low learning opportunities, medium creativity requirements, and very low autonomy; (c) the Demanding pattern with a high workload, high time pressure, medium learning opportunities, high creativity requirements, and very low autonomy; and (d) the Challenging pattern with a high workload, high time pressure, very high learning opportunities, very high creativity requirements, and very high autonomy. Importantly, these patterns were associated with significant differences in worker well-being. From an individual perspective, working conditions most often changed from patterns with a high workload and time pressure to patterns with lower levels of these demands. Over time, the prevalence of the Constraining pattern increased while that of the Challenging pattern decreased. To conclude, a person-centered approach broadens the understanding of the complex interplay between psychosocial working conditions and their longitudinal change, which can improve the tailoring of occupational health interventions.

  • 2017. Claudia Bernhard-Oettel (et al.). An Introduction to Work and Organizational Psychology, 258-275

    This chapter discusses how it feels to work in non-standard employment that deviates from the traditional full-time permanent arrangement. Non-standard employmentis frequently used by organizations today and often tailored to organizational needs. Therefore, a diversity of arrangements has developed, which means that employment and working conditions and their consequences for the individual and the organization may vary a lot. The chapter first provides a typology of most commonly used non-standard contracts and discusses their comparability across national employment protection legislation and labour markets. It further illustrates that workers may view alternative employment differently, depending on organizational or labour market structures that create working conditions for specific contracts, and individual perspectives that are shaped by different needs and perceptions of the employment. These structural issues and individual perceptions may well explain the variety of consequences, positive as well as negative, which are discussed in this chapter in terms of work attitudes, organizational behaviour, individual health and well-being and career development.

  • 2017. Constanze Leineweber (et al.). BMC Public Health 17

    Background: Research has shown that perceived unfairness contributes to higher rates of sickness absence. While shorter, but more frequent periods of sickness absence might be a possibility for the individual to get relief from high strain, long-term sickness absence might be a sign of more serious health problems. The Uncertainty Management Model suggests that justice is particularly important in times of uncertainty, e.g. perceived job insecurity. The present study investigated the association between interpersonal and informational justice at work with long and frequent sickness absence respectively, under conditions of job insecurity.

    Methods: Data were derived from the 2010, 2012, and 2014 biennial waves of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH). The final analytic sample consisted of 19,493 individuals. We applied repeated measures regression analyses through generalized estimating equations (GEE), a method for longitudinal data that simultaneously analyses variables at different time points. We calculated risk of long and frequent sickness absence, respectively in relation to interpersonal and informational justice taking perceptions of job insecurity into account.

    Results: We found informational and interpersonal justice to be associated with risk of long and frequent sickness absence independently of job insecurity and demographic variables. Results from autoregressive GEE provided some support for a causal relationship between justice perceptions and sickness absence. Contrary to expectations, we found no interaction between justice and job insecurity.

    Conclusions: Our results underline the need for fair and just treatment of employees irrespective of perceived job insecurity in order to keep the workforce healthy and to minimize lost work days due to sickness absence.

  • 2017. Johanna Stengard (et al.). Journal of Vocational Behavior 102, 15-27

    In today's rapidly changing and increasingly competitive labour market individuals need to take control over their own career more actively. However, some employees feel that they lack psychological suppositions to get another job, even though they wish to, and as a result feel stuck in a non-preferred workplace (being locked-in). The aim of this study was to investigate how helplessness are related to being locked-in at the workplace over time, since it can be argued that helplessness precedes, is reciprocally related to, or a consequence of being locked-in at the workplace. The sample consisted of 978 Swedish employees with permanent contracts and the data were collected at two time points (2012 and 2016). Results from a cross-lagged SEM analysis showed best fit statistics for a model of reciprocal relationships over time; helplessness associated with subsequent perceptions of being locked-in at the workplace and an association, although less substantial, was found in the reversed direction from locked-in status to helplessness. Results remained unchanged when job change, reorganization, gender, age and education were controlled for, which lends further credibility to the finding. Implications for future research and theory development are outlined in the discussion.

  • 2017. Catarina Canivet (et al.).

    Precarious employment has been associated with poor mental health. Moreover, increasing labour market precariousness may cause individuals to feel ‘locked-in’, in non-desired workplaces or occupations, out of fear of not finding a new employment. This could be experienced as a ‘loss of control’, with similar negative health consequences. It is plausible that the extent to which being in a non-desired occupation (NDO) or being in precarious employment (PE) has a negative impact on mental health differs according to age group. We tested this hypothesis using data from 2331 persons, 18–34, 35–44, and 45–54 years old, who answered questionnaires in 1999/2000, 2005, and 2010. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) were calculated for poor mental health (GHQ-12) in 2010, after exposure to NDO and PE in 1999/2000 or 2005. NDO and PE were more common in the youngest age group, and they were both associated with poor mental health. In the middle age group the impact of NDO was null, while in contrast the IRR for PE was 1.7 (95% CI: 1.3–2.3) after full adjustment. The pattern was completely the opposite in the oldest age group (adjusted IRR for NDO 1.6 (1.1–2.4) and for PE 0.9 (0.6–1.4)). The population attributable fraction of poor mental health was 14.2% and 11.6%, respectively, for NDO in the youngest and oldest age group, and 17.2% for PE in the middle age group. While the consequences of PE have been widely discussed, those of NDO have not received attention. Interventions aimed at adapting work situations for older individuals and facilitating conditions of job change in such a way as to avoid risking unemployment or precarious employment situations may lead to improved mental health in this age group.

Show all publications by Claudia Bernhard-Oettel at Stockholm University

Last updated: March 25, 2020

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