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Healthy work?!

has central meaning to our lives: it shapes our identities, offers us social support and appreciation, and helps us achieve collective goals. However, if our working conditions are detrimental, long-term negative health-effects occur that can spread over to the family and thus be a potential risk factor for the mental health of children. In a current research project embedded in the consortium COMPARE we assess various stressors and resources in the working context of both mentally ill and healthy parents as well as work-related strain and work-family conflict indicators modelling the so-called spillover-crossover process in (all) its complexity. Details can be found in German on the project website.

Changing nature of work brings new forms of threats to health and well-being of employees. Due to an intensification of work, globalization, flexible labor, and an increasing diversity of work forces, psychosocial risk factors have increased over the last years. Health statistics document the rise of mental disorders as reasons for sick leaves, and early retirement. Simultaneously, atypical forms of employment have substantially increased in the labor market; among those are multiple employment and solo self-employment both discussed as employment forms varying on a continuum between being precarious per se (no employed jobs accessible or one job does not cover living expenses) or allowing self-fulfillment (granting more opportunities of autonomy or skill development). A prior project explored the working conditions, stressors, resources and strain of these two new employment groups. The project report is available soon.

Selected publications

Kottwitz, M. U., Pfister, I., Elfering, A., Schummer, S. E., Igic, I., & Otto, K. (in press). SOS - Appreciation overboard: The mediating role of appreciation between illegitimate tasks and psychologists` job satisfaction. Industrial Health.

Kottwitz, M. U., Hünefeld, L., Frank, B. P., & Otto, K. (2017). The more, the better?! Multiple vs. single jobholders’ job satisfaction as a matter of lacked information. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1274. Available from:

Faupel, S., Otto, K., Krug, H., & Kottwitz, M. U. (2016). Stress at school? A qualitative study on illegitimate tasks during teacher training. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1410. Available from:

Abas, N. A. H, Otto, K., & Thurasamy, R. (2015). Cultural embeddedness as a moderator of the relationship between depressive symptoms and job satisfaction in a collectivistic culture. Jurnal Psikologi Malaysia, 29, 1-20. Available from:

Rigotti, T., Korek, S. & Otto, K. (Hrsg., 2010). Gesund mit und ohne Arbeit. Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.