Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

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Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology - Early View Articles, Pages ${blockparams.parentJournalIssue.pageRange}

Testing cross‐lagged relationships between work‐related rumination and well‐being at work in a three‐wave longitudinal study across 1 and 2 years

The aim of this three‐wave longitudinal study conducted among 664 Finnish employees was to examine the cross‐lagged relationships between various work‐related ruminative thoughts (affective rumination, problem‐solving pondering, lack of detachment from work) during off‐job time and employee well‐being (exhaustion, vigour). We tested normal, reversed, and reciprocal temporal relationships across 1 and 2 years using structural equation modelling. The analyses lent most support to the reversed temporal relationships, showing first that high exhaustion predicted low problem‐solving pondering 2 years later and second, that high vigour predicted low affective rumination both 1 and 2 years later. In addition, a normal temporal relationship was supported in one model, indicating that high affective rumination predicted high exhaustion 1 year later. Thus, our study suggests that affective ruminative thoughts, in particular, play a negative role in cross‐lagged relationships. On the basis of our results, occupational health interventions intended to reduce both affective work‐related rumination and exhaustion and to increase vigour at work are desirable. Practitioner points Affective rumination during off‐job time predicted increased job exhaustion across 1 year. Prevent affective rumination by training employees to change ways of thinking and to create action plans on setting and completing work goals. Vigour predicted reduced affective work‐related rumination in the long term. Provide employees with sufficient job resources to increase their vigour at work. Exhaustion predicted reduced problem‐solving pondering during off‐job time in the long term. Attention should be paid to ensuring that job demands are not so high that they increase exhaustion. Care should be taken to ensure that problem‐solving pondering replenishes energy resources.

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