Reciprocity and Depressive Symptoms in Belgian Workers: A Cross-Sectional Multilevel Analysis

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Abstract

Objective:

This study examines the multidimensional association between reciprocity at work and depressive symptoms.

Methods:

Data from the Belgian BELSTRESS survey (32 companies; N = 24,402) were analyzed. Multilevel statistical procedures were used to account for company-level associations while controlling for individual-level associations.

Results:

Different dimensions of individual reciprocity were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. On the company level, only vertical emotional reciprocity was negatively associated (β = −4.660; SE = 1.117) independently from individual reciprocity (β = −0.557; SE = 0.042). Complex interactions were found such that workplace reciprocity (1) may not uniformly benefit individuals and (2) related differently to depressive symptoms, depending on occupational group.

Conclusions:

This study extends the existing literature with evidence on the multidimensional, contextual, and cross-level interaction associations of reciprocity as a key aspect of social capital on depressive symptoms.

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