Persson R, Albertsen K, Garde AH, Rugulies R. The relationship between performance based self-esteem and self-reported work and health behaviors among Danish knowledge workers. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2011.00906.x
Since knowledge intensive work often requires self-management, one might fear that persons who are dependent on work success for self-esteem will have difficulties in finding a healthful and sustainable balance between internal needs and external demands. Accordingly, we examined to what degree work-related performance-based self-esteem (PBS) was linked to work and health behaviors in 392 knowledge workers (226 women, 166 men). In the women group, multiple binary logistic regression analyses with repeated measurements showed that the PBS score was associated with 10 of the 17 examined work and health behaviors. For men the corresponding figure was 3 of 17. In both men and women, higher PBS scores were positively associated with reports of efforts and strivings for work as well as attending work while ill. In conclusion, statistically significant relationships between PBS and work and health behaviors were more clearly visible among women than men. Whether this gender difference is dependent on the study design, or on true inherent differences between women and men, cannot be concluded with any certainty. However, persons who described themselves as being relatively more dependent on work accomplishments for a high self-esteem, as expressed by the PBS score, seem to display work behaviors that may lessen their restitution time. In addition, they also seem to be more prone to work while sick.
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