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      Do I feel ill because I crave for work or do I crave for work because I feel ill? A longitudinal analysis of work craving, self-regulation, and health

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          The theory of work craving defines workaholism as a pathological work addiction which comprises: (a) obsessive–compulsive desire to work, (b) anticipation of self-worth compensatory incentives from working, (c) anticipation of reduction of negative emotions or withdrawal symptoms from working, and (d) neurotic perfectionism. Research has shown that workaholism is associated with adverse health outcomes. However, the antecedents of workaholism and the causal direction of the relationship with health have been largely neglected.


          In the present longitudinal study, we expect that work craving is predicted by deficits in emotional self-regulation (i.e., low action orientation) and mediates the relationship between self-regulation deficits and symptoms of psychological distress. We expected work craving to have an effect on later psychological distress symptoms, but not psychological distress symptoms to have an effect on later work craving.


          In a sample of 170 German employees, a half-longitudinal design using two times of measurement was implemented to specify the paths of two different structural equation models of mediation: (a) action orientation to later work craving and work craving to later psychological distress, and alternatively, (b) the temporal order of action orientation to later distress and distress to later work craving.


          Our data indicated that work craving partially mediated the relationship between self-regulation deficits and psychological distress, but psychological distress symptoms were not found to increase later work craving.


          The presented longitudinal study indicates important mechanisms of work craving, especially by highlighting the influence of self-regulation deficits on work craving and, in turn, psychological distress.

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          Most cited references 44

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          Longitudinal studies in organizational stress research: a review of the literature with reference to methodological issues.

          Demonstrating causal relationships has been of particular importance in organizational stress research. Longitudinal studies are typically suggested to overcome problems of reversed causation and third variables (e.g., social desirability and negative affectivity). This article reviews the empirical longitudinal literature and discusses designs and statistical methods used in these studies. Forty-three longitudinal field reports on organizational stress were identified. Most of the investigations used a 2-wave panel design and a hierarchical multiple regression approach. Six studies with 3 and more waves were found. About 50% of the studies analyzed potential strain-stressor (reversed causation) relationships. In about 33% of the studies there was some evidence of reverse causation. The power of longitudinal studies to rule out third variable explanations was not realized in many studies. Procedures of how to analyze longitudinal data are suggested.
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            Workaholism, Burnout, and Work Engagement: Three of a Kind or Three Different Kinds of Employee Well-being?

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              Structural equations modeling: Fit Indices, sample size, and advanced topics


                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                March 2016
                : 5
                : 1
                : 90-99
                [1 ] Institute of Psychology , Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
                [2 ]Department of Psychology, University of Trier , Trier, Germany
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding authors: Kamila Wojdylo; Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 00-378 Warszawa, Jaracza 1; E-mail: kamila.wojdylo@ ; Nicola Baumann; Differential Psychology, Personality Psychology, and Diagnostics, Department I, University of Trier, 54286 Trier, Germany; E-mail: nicola.baumann@
                © 2016 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 73, Pages: 34
                Funding sources: This project was supported by the Polish National Science Centre Grant (DEC/2011/01/M/HS6/02567).
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