[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychosocial work characteristics including high demands, lack of control and poor social support have consistently been linked to poor health as has poor general mental ability (GMA). However, less is known about the relationships between stable individual factors such as GMA, psychosocial work characteristics and health. Objective: The present study investigated how childhood mental ability and psychosocial work characteristics relate to health in terms of mental distress, neck/shoulder pain (NSP) and self-rated health (SRH). Methods: Data on childhood GMA, occupational level, self-reports of demands, control and social support and health (mental distress, NSP and SRH) in midlife came from working women (n=271) and men (n=291) included in a Swedish school cohort. Hierarchical regression analyses, controlling for occupational level, were used to examine associations between childhood GMA, self-reports of high demands, low control and poor social support and the three health indicators. Taking into consideration the gendered labor market and variations in health patterns between women and men, gender specific analyses were performed. Results: There were no significant associations between childhood GMA and health indicators. Further, there were no significant interactions between GMA and psychosocial work factors. As regards the strength of the associations between GMA, psychosocial work factors and health, no consistent differences emerged between women and men. Conclusions: In a cohort of healthy and working middle-aged women and men, self-reports of current psychosocial work characteristics seem to be more strongly linked to health, than are stable childhood factors such as GMA.
Journal of Occupational Health 12/2011; 53(6):439-46. DOI:10.1539/joh.10-0025-OA · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychosocial work conditions including high demands, lack of control and support have been linked to poor health. Yet, the influence of individual factors such as general mental ability (GMA) remains to be examined. The present study set out to investigate how childhood mental ability and psychosocial work characteristics relate to different health indicators in a cohort of working women (n= 271) and men (n=291). Specifically, childhood GMA and self-reports of job demands, job control and social support were linked to two positive health indicators (sense of coherence and self-rated health) and two negative health indicators (musculoske-letal problems and anxiety). In view of the gendered labor market and variations in health patterns between women and men, gender specific analyses were per-formed. Results revealed no linkages between childhood GMA and the health indicators included. Further, there were no significant interactions between GMA and the psychosocial factors. The overall impact of occupational level was low and controlling for occupational level did not change the overall results. These findings are likely to result from the study cohort being fairly homogeneous and the women and men being in good health.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although it has been proposed that general mental ability (GMA) may affect the adjustment process, few studies have examined the relation of mental ability to individuals' sense of satisfaction with school and work. The present study investigated the importance of mental ability for school and job satisfaction, using a Swedish sample of 298 men and 399 women, followed longitudinally from the age of 13 to middle age (43 years for women, and 48 years for men). Mental ability had a weak positive correlation with school satisfaction at age 13 but not at age 16, whereas a tendency was found for a negative relation to job satisfaction at the age of 26. Adolescent levels of mental ability were associated with greater intrinsic job satisfaction in middle age for both sexes, and greater extrinsic job satisfaction for men. Longitudinal structural equation modeling indicated that the effects of general mental ability on school and job satisfaction were mediated by school and work achievement, respectively. The same model fit both sexes.