Article

Psychosocial working conditions in a representative sample of working Australians 2001-2008: An analysis of changes in inequalities over time

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Abstract

Background: A number of widely prevalent job stressors have been identified as modifiable risk factors for common mental and physical illnesses such as depression and cardiovascular disease, yet there has been relatively little study of population trends in exposure to job stressors over time. The aims of this paper were to assess: (1) overall time trends in job control and security and (2) whether disparities by sex, age, skill level and employment arrangement were changing over time in the Australian working population. Methods: Job control and security were measured in eight annual waves (2000-2008) from the Australian nationally-representative Household Income and Labour Dynamics of Australia panel survey (n=13 188 unique individuals for control and n=13 182 for security). Observed and model-predicted time trends were generated. Models were generated using population-averaged longitudinal linear regression, with year fitted categorically. Changes in disparities over time by sex, age group, skill level and employment arrangement were tested as interactions between each of these stratifying variables and time. Results: While significant disparities persisted for disadvantaged compared with advantaged groups, results suggested that inequalities in job control narrowed among young workers compared with older groups and for casual, fixed-term and self-employed compared with permanent workers. A slight narrowing of disparities over time in job security was noted for gender, age, employment arrangement and occupational skill level. Conclusions: Despite the favourable findings of small reductions in disparities in job control and security, significant cross-sectional disparities persist. Policy and practice intervention to improve psychosocial working conditions for disadvantaged groups could reduce these persisting disparities and associated illness burdens.

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... The rare studies assessing the changes of psychosocial work factors over time were often limited to specific populations or sectors, to some countries or regions and to a small number of psychosocial work factors (Tsai and Chan 2011;Cheng et al. 2013;Houdmont et al. 2012;Malard et al. 2013;LaMontagne et al. 2013;Wang et al. 2010). In Taiwan, working hours, excessive work, reward, respect from superiors and colleagues, social support, and job promotion prospects improved among lawyers while "supervisor concerned about the welfare", "supervisor pays attention", interruptions and disturbances at work, and trouble sleeping at night worsened among financial workers between 2007 and 2009 according to a prospective study on 135 financial workers and lawyers (Tsai and Chan 2011). ...
... An European periodical cross-sectional study found a degradation of decision latitude and job insecurity but an improvement of job promotion, effort, bullying, sexual harassment, long working hours, and work-life imbalance between 2005 and 2010 in a large sample of 56096 European employees (Malard et al. 2013). In Australia, job insecurity decreased from 2001 to 2007 but increased in 2008 in a prospective representative study including 13182 Australian workers (LaMontagne et al. 2013). Finally, in a cross-sectional study among 3579 Canadian employees in Alberta, job insecurity increased from the beginning of 2008 to the end of 2009 (Wang et al. 2010). ...
... In the European study (Malard et al. 2013), decision latitude was more likely to deteriorate among manual workers, which is in agreement with our results. Finally, in the Australian study (LaMontagne et al. 2013), the authors found that inequalities in job control narrowed among young workers compared with older groups and for casual, fixed-term and self-employed compared with permanent workers from 2001 to 2008. They also observed a slight narrowing of disparities over time in job security between genders, age, employment arrangement and occupational skill level groups. ...
Article
Purpose: The aim of the study was to assess the changes in psychosocial work factors in the French working population between 2006 and 2010 and to examine potential differential changes according to age, occupation, public/private sector, work contract and self-employed/employee status. Methods: The study sample included 5,600 workers followed up from 2006 to 2010 from the national representative Santé et Itinéraire Professionnel (SIP) survey. Psychosocial work factors included decision latitude, psychological demands, social support, reward, overcommitment, long working hours, predictability, night- and shift work, emotional demands, role conflict, ethical conflict, tensions with the public, job insecurity and work-life imbalance, and were measured using scores. Linear regressions were used to analyse the change in the scores of these factors adjusted for age and initial score. All analyses were stratified by gender. Results: Psychosocial work factors worsened between 2006 and 2010: decision latitude, social support, reward, role conflict and work-life imbalance for both genders, and psychological demands, emotional demands, ethical conflict and tensions with the public for women. Differential changes according to age, occupation, public/private sector, work contract and self-employed/employee status were observed suggesting that some groups may be more likely to be exposed to negative changes especially the younger, low- and high-skilled and public sector workers. Conclusion: Monitoring exposure to psychosocial work factors over time may be crucial, and prevention policies should take into account that deterioration of psychosocial work factors may be sharper among subgroups such as younger, low- and high-skilled and public sector workers.
... In an analysis of eight annual waves of data from a working population sample of more than thirteen thousand Australians (2001-2008), we found that males reported slightly higher levels of job insecurity compared to females; Casual and Labour Hire workers were the most insecure; there was a gradient by occupational skill level, with the lowest skilled workers reporting the highest levels of insecurity; and non-Australian-born workers had higher insecurity than Australian-born. 10 Over the eight years of observation (2001-2008), there was some evidence of a narrowing in disparities in job insecurity by sex, skill level, and employment arrangement (Permanent, Casual, etc.). This study ended in 2008, which was part way through the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007-2009, and there was a sharp increase in job insecurity in that year. ...
... This study ended in 2008, which was part way through the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007-2009, and there was a sharp increase in job insecurity in that year. 10 Job insecurity exposure also varies over time within persons. In a more recent analysis of fourteen annual waves of data from a working population survey of more than nineteen thousand Australians, perceived job security was relatively stable year to year from the 2002-2015 period, and the changes were roughly equal between increases and decreases in security-with the exception of the GFC as described above. ...
... We also observed other concerning working conditions among precariously employed workers, such as the highest level of multiple job-holding, and the lowest levels of job control. [10][11][12] Finally, and most disturbingly, precariously employed workers were by far the most likely to report unwanted sexual advances (sexual harassment) at work, with casuals at seven times, fixed-term contract workers at eleven times, and own-account self-employed workers at four times the risk compared to permanent employees. 13 This study was highlighted in the 2020 Respect at Work report from the Australian Human Rights Commission. ...
Article
The Australian Senate announced a Select Committee in December of 2020 “to inquire into and report on the impact of insecure or precarious employment on the economy, wages, social cohesion and workplace rights and conditions.” This New Solutions “Document” is a submission to the Australian Senate from independent Australian researchers focusing on the role of perceived job (in)security in this context, acknowledging that it only briefly addresses the role of unemployment, precarious employment, and other aspects of the broader phenomenon of insecure work. Submissions closed in March of 2021, and the Australian Senate is due to report its findings on 30 November 2021.
... Data from eight cohort studies in Europe indicated that the prevalence of job strain ranged from 13% in the Netherlands to 22% in Denmark [2]. Females are more likely to be exposed to psychosocial job stressors than males, at least in high-income countries such as Australia, France and Denmark [3][4][5]. Further, evidence suggests differences in exposure to the more commonly studied psychosocial job stressors (such as low job control) by occupation [1,4,6], with lower skilled occupations being disproportionately exposed to adverse working conditions than higher skilled occupations. This is the reverse for high psychological demands, as higher skilled occupations are more likely to be exposed [5]. ...
... Females are more likely to be exposed to psychosocial job stressors than males, at least in high-income countries such as Australia, France and Denmark [3][4][5]. Further, evidence suggests differences in exposure to the more commonly studied psychosocial job stressors (such as low job control) by occupation [1,4,6], with lower skilled occupations being disproportionately exposed to adverse working conditions than higher skilled occupations. This is the reverse for high psychological demands, as higher skilled occupations are more likely to be exposed [5]. ...
... Exposures were calculated separately by gender, recognising that exposure to psychosocial job stressors differ by gender [4]. The process that we used to calculate the JEM can be seen below: ...
Article
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A Job Exposure Matrix (JEM) for psychosocial job stressors allows assessment of these exposures at a population level. JEMs are particularly useful in situations when information on psychosocial job stressors were not collected individually and can help eliminate the biases that may be present in individual self-report accounts. This research paper describes the development of a JEM in the Australian context.Methods The Household Income Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey was used to construct a JEM for job control, job demands and complexity, job insecurity, and fairness of pay. Population median values of these variables for all employed people (n = 20,428) were used to define individual exposures across the period 2001 to 2012. The JEM was calculated for the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) at the four-digit level, which represents 358 occupations. Both continuous and binary exposures to job stressors were calculated at the 4-digit level. We assessed concordance between the JEM-assigned and individually-reported exposures using the Kappa statistic, sensitivity and specificity assessments. We conducted regression analysis using mental health as an outcome measure.ResultsKappa statistics indicate good agreement between individually-reported and JEM-assigned dichotomous measures for job demands and control, and moderate agreement for job insecurity and fairness of pay. Job control, job demands and security had the highest sensitivity, while specificity was relatively high for the four exposures. Regression analysis shows that most individually reported and JEM measures were significantly associated with mental health, and individually-reported exposures produced much stronger effects on mental health than the JEM-assigned exposures.DiscussionThese JEM-based estimates of stressors exposure provide a conservative proxy for individual-level data, and can be applied to a range of health and organisational outcomes.
... It has been shown that younger people, females, workers from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and migrants tend to experience poor job conditions (Landsbergis et al., 2014). In an Australian study, for example, job control was found to be significantly lower in younger, lower occupational skill level, and female workers (LaMontagne et al. 2013). Younger people and those with lower educational level are more likely to be employed in casual jobs, and this results in an increased risk of job insecurity (Keuskamp et al., 2013). ...
... Subsequently, we conducted linear regression analyses to examine if the exposures to skill discretion/job complexity and decision authority were different between migrant workers and native workers. Sociodemographic variables, gender, age, and educational attainment were controlled as confounders one by one and simultaneously (LaMontagne et al., 2013;Landsbergis et al., 2014). Following these linear regression analyses, likelihood ratio (LR) tests were used to assess whether the differences in skill discretion/job complexity and decision authority between migrant workers and native workers varied by gender, age, and educational attainment. ...
... Third, the variable of the dominant language of COB includes some migrant workers whose dominant language is not English, but they still have good English skill; however, this exposure misclassification only affects the Non-ESC-born workers and would bias our results towards the null (making it harder to observe differences). Fourth, we only included observations with items completed for skill discretion/job complexity and decision authority scales; however, people who experienced worse working conditions were probably more likely to not attend an interview (LaMontagne et al., 2013), this may result in underestimation of adverse job stressor exposures. Fifth, age at migration may also influence migrants' working conditions; however, our study included mainly adult-arrival migrants (1713 migrants of 1749 arrived at age 18 years or older), so our results generalized mostly to adult-arrival migrants. ...
Article
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Aims: Previous studies have suggested that migrants have higher exposures to psychosocial job stressors than native-born workers. We explored migrant status-related differences in skill discretion/job complexity and decision authority, and whether the differences varied by gender, age, and educational attainment. Methods: Data were from Wave 14 of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. A total number of 9031 persons were included in the analysis. Outcomes included skill discretion/job complexity and decision authority. Exposure included migrant status defined by (i) country of birth (COB), (ii) the combination of COB and English/Non-English dominant language of COB, and (iii) the combination of COB and years since arrival in Australia. Data were analysed using linear regression, adjusting for gender, age, and educational attainment. These covariates were also analysed as effect modifiers of the relationship between migrant status and job stressor exposure. Results: In the unadjusted analysis, only migrant workers from Non-English-speaking countries (Non-ESC-born) had significantly lower skill discretion and job complexity than Australia-born workers (-0.29, 95% CI: -0.56; -0.01); however, results from fully adjusted models showed that all migrant groups, except migrant workers from Main-English-speaking countries, had significantly lower skill discretion and job complexity than Australia-born workers (overseas-born workers, -0.59, 95% CI: -0.79; -0.38; Non-ESC-born, -1.01, 95% CI: -1.27; -0.75; migrant workers who had arrived ≤5 years ago, -1.33, 95% CI: -1.94; -0.72; arrived 6-10 years ago, -0.92, 95% CI: -1.46; -0.39; and arrived ≥11 years ago, -0.45, 95% CI: -0.67; -0.22). On the contrary, the unadjusted model showed that migrant workers had higher decision authority than Australia-born workers, whereas in the fully adjusted model, no difference in decision authority was found between migrant workers and Australia-born workers. Effect modification results showed that as educational attainment increased, differences in skill discretion and job complexity between Australia-born workers and Non-ESC-born migrants progressively increased; whereas Non-ESC-born migrants with postgraduate degree showed significantly lower decision authority than Australia-born workers. Conclusions: This study suggests that skill discretion and job complexity but not decision authority is associated with migrant status. Migrants with high educational attainment from Non-English-speaking countries appear to be most affected by lower skill discretion/job complexity and decision authority; however, differences in skill discretion and job complexity attenuate over time for Non-ESC-born migrants, consistent with an acculturation effect. Low skill discretion and job complexity, to the extent that it overlaps with underemployment, may adversely affect migrant workers' well-being. Targeted language skill support could facilitate migrant integration into the Australian labour market.
... The score of job insecurity was computed by summing the three items running from 3 to 21, with a higher score representing higher job insecurity (Cronbach's α = 0.67). These items were shown to have good internal consistency in previous Australian studies [15,18,40]. We analysed job insecurity as a continuous measure to optimise discriminatory power. ...
... Subsequently, linear regression analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between migrant status and job insecurity (as continuous outcomes). Then, gender, age, educational attainment, and occupational skill level were included in the linear regression one by one, and then simultaneously, to assess the potential for confounding [5,18]. However, educational attainment and occupational skill level showed a moderate correlation with each other (r = 0.49); thus, we conducted two separate 'fully adjusted' models, one including educational attainment and the other including occupational skill level. ...
... Those who did not answer the SCQ were more likely to be male, younger, lower educated, working a low-skill level job, from a non-English speaking country, have lower English proficiency, have a disability, or have long-term disease [57]. These population groups were more likely to experience higher job insecurity [18], therefore, this most likely resulted in underestimation of job insecurity exposures. Sixth, a bilingual interview was available for only the most common non-English languages in Australia and only for a small number of cases; therefore, because the selfcompletion questionnaire was only provided in English [42], the results were likely to be biased towards an underestimation of migrant versus non-migrant differences. ...
Article
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Job insecurity is a modifiable risk factor for poor health outcomes, and exposure to job insecurity varies by population groups. This study assessed if job insecurity exposure varied by migrant status and if the differences varied by gender, age, educational attainment, and occupational skill level. Data were from wave 14 of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey. The outcome was job insecurity. Exposure was migrant status defined by (1) the country of birth (COB), (2) the dominant language of the COB, and (3) the number of years since arrival in Australia. Data were analysed using linear regression, adjusting for gender, age, educational attainment, and occupational skill level. These covariates were also analysed as effect modifiers for the migrant status–job insecurity relationships. Migrant workers, especially those from non-English speaking countries (non-ESC-born), experienced higher job insecurity than Australia-born workers; however, these disparities disappeared after 11+ years post-arrival. The migrant status–job insecurity relationships were modified by educational attainment. Unexpectedly, the disparities in job insecurity between non-ESC-born migrants and Australia-born workers increased with increasing educational attainment, and for those most highly educated, the disparities persisted beyond 11 years post-arrival. Our findings suggested that continuing language skill support and discrimination prevention could facilitate migrant integration into the Australian labour market.
... The school-to-work transition period is a pivotal developmental point for young workers' psychological wellbeing. While employment can be a protective factor, workforce entry can also negatively impact a young person's mental health (LaMontagne et al., 2013). For many young people, entering the workforce can be demanding, with the challenges of workforce entry compounded by stressful working conditions. ...
... For many young people, entering the workforce can be demanding, with the challenges of workforce entry compounded by stressful working conditions. Compared to older workers, young workers are more susceptible to work stress and psychosocial stressors such as bullying and harassment (Alexander et al., 2012), low job control (LaMontagne et al., 2013), and conflict with supervisors and co-workers (Frone, 2000). ...
Article
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Purpose Young Australian workers are at elevated risk of mental health and alcohol and other drug related problems. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between alcohol and drug (AOD) use, psychological wellbeing, and the workplace psychosocial environment among young apprentices in the construction industry. Design/methodology/approach A cross-sectional survey of a cohort of 169 construction industry apprentices in their first year of training was undertaken. The survey included measures of psychological distress (K10), quantity/frequency measures of alcohol and illicit drug use, and workplace psychosocial factors. Findings Construction industry apprentices are at elevated risk of AOD related harm and poor mental health. Levels of psychological distress and substance use were substantially higher than age/gender equivalent Australian population norms. Job stress, workplace bullying, and general social support accounted for 38.2 per cent of the variance in psychological distress. General social support moderated the effects of job stress and bullying on psychological distress. Substance use was not associated with psychological distress. However, workplace social support accounted for 2.1 per cent of the variance in AUDIT-C scores, and 2.0 per cent of the variance in cannabis use. Workplace bullying explained 2.4 per cent of the variance in meth/amphetamine use. Practical implications Construction trades apprentices are a high-risk group for harmful substance use and poor mental health. Study results indicate that psychosocial wellbeing interventions are warranted as a harm reduction strategy. Originality/value This is the first study of its kind to describe a cohort of Australian construction trade apprentices in terms of their substance use and psychological wellbeing. The study shows workplace psychosocial factors may predict young workers psychological wellbeing.
... Nor is it clear how much or how often work stressors vary over time given the changing landscape of contemporary workplaces, where changing occupations and career mobility due to digital disruption are becoming more common. In support of this, there is some evidence that psychosocial work stressors are not static (Bentley et al., 2015;LaMontagne et al., 2019;LaMontagne et al., 2013). Two studies have examined the relationship between mortality and psychosocial work stressors over time and found that consistent low job control over time is strongly associated with an increased risk of death (Amick et al., 2002;Johnson et al., 1996). ...
... The greater retention of persons of higher versus lower socioeconomic status may affect generalisation. The disproportionate loss of lower SES and lower occupational status participants, who are more likely to be exposed to poor psychosocial working conditions and adverse psychosocial work stressors, would have biased our results towards the null (LaMontagne et al., 2013). However, loss to follow-up in consecutive HILDA waves was low; less than 10% for most waves (Summerfield et al., 2016). ...
... A range of workplace psychosocial stressors have been identified, including high work demands, discrimination, bullying, and perceived job insecurity [4,5]. These workplace psychosocial stressors have been found to vary across a variety of demographic factors, including gender, age, socioeconomic status, and occupational skill level, as well as across differing employment arrangements [6,7]. There is also some evidence that adverse psychosocial work factors may contribute to existing occupational health disparities among populations already at risk [8,9], including migrant workers [9,10]. ...
... A longitudinal analysis of psychosocial working conditions showed similar results with older people reporting low job control and job security which were not attenuated over time while similar conditions in younger people showed some attenuation. [7] There are some limitations of this study which may have influenced the results. The study was conducted by telephone and the lack of an established sampling frame from which to randomly sample as well as the low response rate may have been affected the representativeness of the sample, a challenge common in ethnic minority research [63]. ...
Article
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Objective To explore work-related psychosocial stressors among people of Chinese, Vietnamese and Arabic-speaking backgrounds currently working in Australia. Methods In 2015, a telephone survey of 585 Vietnamese, Chinese and Arabic-speaking workers asked about workplace bullying, ethnic discrimination, job complexity, degree of control, security and fairness of payment along with demographic and employment information. Estimates of job-related psychosocial stressors were derived and regression analyses used to identify significant associations. Results At least one workplace stressor was reported by 83% of the workers in the study. Education was significantly associated with experiencing any psychosocial stressor and also with the total number of stressors. Workers aged 45 years and older were more likely to be bullied or experience racial discrimination compared with younger workers of any ethnicity. There was a greater likelihood of reporting low control over a job when the interview was conducted in a language other than English and the workers were either Chinese or Arabic. Workers on a fixed-term contract, independent of ethnicity were more likely to report a job with low security. Overall psychosocial job quality decreased with education and was associated with occupation type which interacted with ethnicity and gender. Conclusions The results suggest that job-related psychosocial stressors are widespread but not uniform across ethnic groups. Further research into what drives differences in work experience for migrant groups would provide information to guide both employers and migrants in ways to reduce workplace psychosocial stressors.
... [In the following, I shall not discuss the issue of trends of other exposures, such as chemical and dust exposures (1).] To my knowledge, in the recent decade, only a few studies have investigated this topic (2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8), and, in this issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, such a rare study is published (9). ...
... In some cases, they might be excluded from sampling frame definitions if the data provider (eg, the state or the company) does not register them as employees. Of course this problem does not arise in studies where the sample frame is based on resident populations allowing also for inclusion of workers not classified as such in registers (2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9). If however precarious workers are contacted in surveys, their uncertain or temporary (or even illegal) situation could make it difficult for them to consider themselves as employees and describe their work situation. ...
Article
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In work and health research, there is a lack of studies on prevalence of psychosocial (eg, quantitative demands, social relations) and physical (eg, physical activity, heavy lifting) working conditions among national employee populations - and their trends. [In the following, I shall not discuss the issue of trends of other exposures, such as chemical and dust exposures (1).] To my knowledge, in the recent decade, only a few studies have investigated this topic (2-8), and, in this issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, such a rare study is published (9). © 2021, Nordic Association of Occupational Safety and Health. All rights reserved.
... commercial and nursing professions, require vocational college training and these are also employment sectors that commonly use fixed-term contracts. Fixed-term contracts have been found to be associated with low job control, insecurity at work and lower work ability [26,27]. In addition in other studies, women have reported lower scores for control than men [27,28]. ...
... Fixed-term contracts have been found to be associated with low job control, insecurity at work and lower work ability [26,27]. In addition in other studies, women have reported lower scores for control than men [27,28]. It may be that women are used to coping with fixed-term contracts and low job and work time control and that their better time management skills allow them to find time during the working day for diabetes care. ...
Article
Background: Work ability represents the balance between individual resources, health status and job demands. As far as we are aware, these issues have not been examined in working people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Aims: To examine how work-related and diabetes-related factors are associated with work ability among male and female workers. Methods: Questionnaires were mailed to a random sample of 2500 people with T1D from the Medication Reimbursement Register of The Social Insurance Institution of Finland. The associations of the predictors of poor work ability were examined in a logistic regression analysis. Results: The final sample comprised 767 working people aged 18-64 with T1D; overall response rate 49%. One in every three working men and women with T1D had poor work ability. High job demands and low job control were associated with poor work ability in both genders. Physical work and low worktime control were significantly associated with poor work ability in men but not in women with T1D. A self-reported high value of glycosylated haemoglobin was the only diabetes-related variable associated with poor work ability in both men and women. Conclusions: Work-related factors and poor glycaemic control were associated with poor work ability in individuals with T1D. Thus, job control and worktime control should be taken into account in supporting the work ability of workers with T1D.
... Nor is it clear how much or how often work stressors vary over time given the changing landscape of contemporary workplaces, where changing occupations and career mobility due to digital disruption are becoming more common. In support of this, there is some evidence that psychosocial work stressors are not static (Bentley et al., 2015;LaMontagne et al., 2019;LaMontagne et al., 2013). Two studies have examined the relationship between mortality and psychosocial work stressors over time and found that consistent low job control over time is strongly associated with an increased risk of death (Amick et al., 2002;Johnson et al., 1996). ...
... The greater retention of persons of higher versus lower socioeconomic status may affect generalisation. The disproportionate loss of lower SES and lower occupational status participants, who are more likely to be exposed to poor psychosocial working conditions and adverse psychosocial work stressors, would have biased our results towards the null (LaMontagne et al., 2013). However, loss to follow-up in consecutive HILDA waves was low; less than 10% for most waves (Summerfield et al., 2016). ...
Article
The effects of poor-quality work (high job demands, low job control, job insecurity, and effort-reward imbalance) are harmful to health but it isn’t clear whether exposure to these psychosocial work stressors over time translates into increased risk of mortality. Objective We investigated the effect of time-varying psychosocial work stressors on mortality using data from a longitudinal cohort of working Australians by examining association between job control, job demands, job insecurity, unfair pay overtime and all-cause mortality. We examined whether gender modified these relationships. Methods Over 20,000 participants from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey with self-reported repeated exposure measures were followed for 15 years. Survival analysis models with baseline hazard specified by the Weibull distribution were used to examine the association between psychosocial work stressors over time and mortality. Results Low job control (HR=1.39; 95% CI: 1.06-1.83) and job insecurity (1.36; 1.06-1.74) were associated with increased risk of mortality. High job demands (1.01; 0.75-1.34) and effort-reward unfairness (1.20; 0.90-1.59) were not associated with mortality. The effect of job insecurity was attenuated (1.20; 0.93-1.54) after controlling for sociodemographic and health risk factors. Male participants exposed to low job control and job insecurity had an 81% and 39% increase risk of mortality, respectively. Conclusions Long-term exposure to low job control and low job security is associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality. Effects were largely restricted to males and persisted after adjustments for sociodemographic and health characteristics. The lack of effects observed for females may have been due to the small number of deaths in females. Awareness of implications of the adverse effects of psychosocial work stressors on health and mortality in workplaces, and interventions to improve job control and job security could contribute to better health and wellbeing, reducing the effect of psychosocial work stressors on mortality.
... Younger workers may face a number of challenges when entering the workforce (11). A recent study analyzing the Household Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) cohort showed that younger workers consistently report lower job control than their older counterparts (12). Earlier working population-based studies have also shown higher Milner et al prevalence of job strain (low control jobs with high psychological demands), higher prevalence of unwanted sexual advances at work, and higher prevalence of casual and temporary employment among younger workers (13)(14)(15)(16). ...
... Two further areas of concern included the low quality of many young workers' jobs (including their lack of access to training and skills upgrading) and workplace bullying, which constituted one-fifth of all employment-related concerns reported to YWAS. These findings are consistent with previous research showing that jobs with high job strain (low control combined with high demands) have an adverse effect on job-related learning (40) as well as our previous research that younger workers have lower levels of job control than their older counterparts (12). Our research also extends previous Australian research on psychosocial job quality and mental health (6,41), in particular strengthening causal inference with the fixed-effects approach. ...
Article
Objectives Entry into employment may be a time when a young person's well-being and mental health is challenged. Specifically, we examined the difference in mental health when a young person was "not in the labor force" (NILF) (ie, non-working activity such as participating in education) compared to being in a job with varying levels of psychosocial quality. Method The data source for this study was the Household Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) study, and the sample included 10 534 young people (aged ≤30 years). We used longitudinal fixed-effects regression to investigate within-person changes in mental health comparing circumstances where individuals were NILF to when they were employed in jobs of varying psychosocial quality. Results Compared to when individuals were not in the labor force, results suggest a statistically significant decline in mental health when young people were employed in jobs with poor psychosocial working conditions and an improvement in mental health when they were employed in jobs with optimal psychosocial working conditions. Our results were robust to various sensitivity tests, including adjustment for life events and the lagged effects of mental health and job stressors. Conclusions If causal, the results suggest that improving the psychosocial quality of work for younger workers will protect and promote their wellbeing, and may reduce the likelihood of mental health problems later on.
... One explanation for these effects is that factors such as gender and race trigger discrimination within internal and external labor markets, which restricts these employees' access to secure jobs with better work designs (Heslin, Bell, & Fletcher, 2012;LaMontagne, Krnjacki, Kavanagh, & Bentley, 2013). Discrimination by formal decision-makers then can continue once an individual is within a job. ...
... Identification of these potentially modifiable risk factors implies possibilities for prevention. 40 Theory-based, organisationally focused interventions to tackle adverse working conditions might be beneficial. Evidence for this is emerging. ...
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Objectives To investigate whether changes in psychosocial and physical working conditions are associated with subsequent psychotropic medication in ageing employees. Methods Data were from the Helsinki Health Study, a cohort study of Finnish municipal employees, aged 40–60 years at phase 1 (2000–2002). Changes in psychosocial and physical working conditions were measured between phase 1 and phase 2 (2007). Survey data were longitudinally linked to data on prescribed, reimbursed psychotropic medication purchases (Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical) obtained from the registers of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland between the phase 2 survey and December 2013 (N=3587; 80% women). Outcomes were any psychotropic medication; antidepressants (N06A); anxiolytics (N05B); and sedatives and hypnotics (N05C). Cox regression analyses were performed. Results During the follow-up, 28% of the participants were prescribed psychotropic medication. Repeated exposures to low job control, high job demands and high physical work load were associated with an increased risk of subsequent antidepressant and anxiolytic medication. Increased and repeated exposure to high physical work load, increased job control and repeated high job demands were associated with subsequent sedative and hypnotic medication. Age and sex-adjusted HR varied from 1.18 to 1.66. Improvement in job control was associated with a lower risk of anxiolytic, but with a higher risk of sedatives and hypnotic medication. Decreased physical work load was associated with a lower risk of antidepressant and anxiolytic medications. Conclusion Improvement in working conditions could lower the risk of mental ill-health indicated by psychotropic medication.
... 15 The effects of poor psychosocial working conditions are also likely to be accumulative, and interact with other life stressors. From a health inequalities perspective, employed males in lower skilled occupations are particularly exposed to poor working conditions 16 and have the highest rates of suicide. 17 These males are therefore likely to be particularly at risk. ...
Article
Objectives: Psychosocial job stressors are known to be associated with poor mental health. This research seeks to assess the relationship between psychosocial working conditions and suicidal ideation using a large dataset of Australian males. Study design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Data from wave 1 of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men) was used to assess the association between suicidal ideation in the past two weeks and psychosocial working conditions using logistic regression. The sample included 11,052 working males. The exposures included self-reported low job control, high job demands, job insecurity and low fairness of pay. We controlled for relevant confounders. Results: In multivariable analysis, persons who were exposed to low job control (odds ratio [OR] 1.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-1.26, P = 0.003), job insecurity (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.44-1.99, P < 0.001) and unfair pay (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.11-1.27, P < 0.001) reported elevated odds of thoughts about suicide. Males employed casually or on fixed-term contracts reported higher odds of suicidal ideation (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.09-1.61, P = 0.005). Conclusion: Psychosocial job stressors are highly prevalent in the working population and workplace suicide prevention efforts should aim to address these as possible risk factors.
... One explanation for these effects is that factors such as gender and race trigger discrimination within internal and external labor markets, which restricts these employees' access to secure jobs with better work designs (Heslin, Bell, & Fletcher, 2012;LaMontagne, Krnjacki, Kavanagh, & Bentley, 2013). Discrimination by formal decision-makers then can continue once an individual is within a job. ...
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Individual work performance has been a central topic for scholars over the past century. There is a mass of research on performance but it is embodied in a variety of disconnected literatures each using their own set of constructs and theoretical lenses. In this paper, we synthesize this disparate literature to better understand individual work performance and pave the way for future research. First, using a bibliometric technique to analyse 9299 articles, we identify the cumulative intellectual structure of the field and show how the field has evolved over the past 40-years. Second, drawing on the Griffin, Neal, and Parker (2007) model of individual performance, we classify 97 performance constructs according to their form (proficiency, adaptivity, proactivity) and level of contribution (individual, team, organization). We conclude this model is useful for understanding the similarities and differences amongst many distinct performance constructs. Third, using the Griffin et al., model, we illuminate the nomological network by mapping the antecedents and outcomes of each form and level of contribution. Our synthesis identified theoretically-relevant and differentiating antecedents of form; whereas the nomological network is underdeveloped in relation to the level of contribution. Finally, we propose 18 recommendations which include: ensuring conceptual clarity for performance constructs, expanding theoretical models to account for more performance dimensions, greater attention to the underlying mechanisms through which individual performance contributes to higher-level outcomes, increased consideration of how performance changes over time and across contexts, and more investigations into how multiple performance constructs interact with each other to shape effectiveness.
... This domain includes themes which focus on cultural norms within the industry at large [42]. Research on the effects of "school-to-work transition" and industry culture, e.g., [4,61], indicates that the cultural theme of masculinity and domination by superiors plays a critical role in young apprentices' patterns of psychosocial distress. The culture of domination encourages workplace bullying and the harassment of young workers [18]. ...
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Despite being a key provider of employment, construction work significantly contributes to poor mental health among young construction workers worldwide. Although there are studies on the psychosocial risk factors (PRFs) that make young construction workers susceptible to poor mental health, the literature is fragmented. This has obscured a deeper understanding of PRFs and the direction for future research, thus making it challenging to develop appropriate interventions. To address this challenge, we systematically reviewed the literature on young construction workers’ PRFs using meta-aggregation, guided by the PICo, PEO, and PRISMA frameworks. We sought to synthesize the domains of PRFs that affect young construction workers’ mental health, and to determine the relationships between the PRF domains, psychological distress, and poor mental health. A total of 235 studies were retrieved and 31 studies published between 1993 and 2020 met the inclusion criteria. We identified 30 PRFs and categorized them into ten domains, which were further classified into personal, socio-economic, and organizational/industrial factors. The findings of this review contribute to achieving an in-depth understanding of young construction workers’ PRF domains and their patterns of interaction. The findings are also useful to researchers and policymakers for identifying PRFs that are in critical need of attention.
... One explanation for these effects is that factors such as gender and race trigger discrimination within internal and external labor markets, which restricts these employees' access to secure jobs with better work designs (Heslin, Bell, & Fletcher, 2012;LaMontagne, Krnjacki, Kavanagh, & Bentley, 2013). Discrimination by formal decision-makers then can continue once an individual is within a job. ...
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High-quality work design is a key determinant of employee well-being, positive work attitudes, and job/organizational performance. Yet, many job incumbents continue to experience deskilled and demotivating work. We argue that there is a need to understand better where work designs come from. We review research that investigates the factors that influence work design, noting that this research is only a small fragment of the work design literature. The research base is also rather disparate, spanning distinct theoretical perspectives according to the level of analysis. To help integrate this literature, we use a framework that summarizes the direct and indirect ways in which work design is shaped by the higher-level external context (global/international, national, and occupational factors), the organizational context, the local work context (work group factors), and individual factors. We highlight two key indirect effects: first, factors affect formal decision-making processes via influencing managers' work design–related motivation, knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs), and opportunities; and second, factors shape informal and emergent work design processes via influencing employees' work design– related motivation, KSAs, and opportunities. By reviewing the literature according to this framework, we set the stage for more comprehensive theoretical development and empirical studies on the factors that influence work design.
... One explanation for these effects is that factors such as gender and race trigger discrimination within internal and external labor markets, which restricts these employees' access to secure jobs with better work designs (Heslin, Bell, & Fletcher, 2012;LaMontagne, Krnjacki, Kavanagh, & Bentley, 2013). Discrimination by formal decision-makers then can continue once an individual is within a job. ...
Article
Full-text available
High-quality work design is a key determinant of employee well-being, positive work attitudes, and job/organizational performance. Yet, many job incumbents continue to experience deskilled and demotivating work. We argue that there is a need to understand better where work designs come from. We review research that investigates the factors that influence work design, noting that this research is only a small fragment of the work design literature. The research base is also rather disparate, spanning distinct theoretical perspectives according to the level of analysis. To help integrate this literature, we use a framework that summarizes the direct and indirect ways in which work design is shaped by the higher-level external context (global/international, national, and occupational factors), the organizational context, the local work context (work group factors), and individual factors. We highlight two key indirect effects: first, factors affect formal decision-making processes via influencing managers' work design–related motivation, knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs), and opportunities; and second, factors shape informal and emergent work design processes via influencing employees' work design– related motivation, KSAs, and opportunities. By reviewing the literature according to this framework, we set the stage for more comprehensive theoretical development and empirical studies on the factors that influence work design.
... Also, in order to assess the gap in precarious nature of employment across temporary and non-temporary worker groups, perceived job control (3-item measure based on based on 1-5 Likert scale; Vander Elst, Van den Broeck, De Cuyper, & De Witte, 2014) and perceived job security (2-item measure based on 1-7 Likert scale; LaMontagne, Krnjacki, Kavanagh, & Bentley, 2013) were assessed. ...
Article
In order to deepen and broaden understanding on the occupational safety and health disparities between temporary and non-temporary workers, psychological and perceptual gaps between the two groups need to be carefully investigated, particularly in relation to risk taking behaviors. To this end, the present study showed the precarious nature of temporary employment in terms of perceived job security and perceived job control. Although the present study showed that risk perception is not significantly different across the temporary and non-temporary worker groups, temporary workers tended to perceive higher monetary benefits from potentially hazardous working opportunities and reported greater willingness to undertake the working opportunities than non-temporary workers. Temporary workers may be more likely to view the working opportunities in hazardous occupational settings as risks that are worthy to take. These findings need to be incorporated in the safety management of temporary workers to promote self-regulatory engagement in safer and healthier behaviors.
... The pooled crosssectional analysis was associative, precluding causal inference. While our analyses controlled for some of the established determinants of psychosocial working conditions (age, sex, education, skill level and employment arrangement) (LaMontagne, Krnjacki, Kavanagh, & Bentley, 2013), we recognise that there may be other systematic differences between the two groups that our analysis has not accounted for and that more sophisticated modelling would be required to make causal attributions. Separate analyses are being pursued in this regard, such as a recent propensity score analysis showing an association between working with a disability and lower perceived fairness of pay . ...
Article
Objectives: There is growing international policy interest in disability employment, yet there has been little investigation of job quality among people working with disability. This study uses Australian national data to compare the psychosocial job quality of people working with versus without disability. Methods: We used 10 annual waves of data from a large representative Australian panel survey to estimate the proportion of the population experiencing poorer psychosocial job quality (overall and by individual 'adversities' of low job control, high demands, high insecurity, and low fairness of pay) by disability status and impairment type. We used logistic regression to examine the pooled cross-sectional associations between disability and job quality, adjusting for age, sex, education and job type. Results: Those working with any disability showed approximately 25% higher odds of reporting one or more adversity at work (OR: 1.23, 95% CI: 1.15, 1.31), and this finding was consistent across impairment types with the exception of intellectual/developmental disability. Estimates were largely unchanged after adjustments. Similar results were found for reporting two or more adversities compared one or more. Conclusions: We observed that working people with a disability in Australia reported systematically poorer psychosocial job quality than those working without disability. These results suggest the need for further research to understand the reasons for these patterns, as well as policy and practice efforts to address this inequity.
... It may also be related to changes in social and economic welfare policies [2,5,21] and rising job insecurity [22], and more precarious employment, each of which would be more likely to affect those in lower skilled jobs. Certainly, there is evidence to suggest that lower skilled workers report greater job insecurity more than higher skilled workers [22] and that job insecurity rose in Australia during 2008 with the onset of the GFC [23]. Although there is a lack of research specifically on suicide, job insecurity predicts common mental disorders [24]. ...
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Background: Previous research showed an increase in Australian suicide rates during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). There has been no research investigating whether suicide rates by occupational class changed during the GFC. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the GFC-associated increase in suicide rates in employed Australians may have masked changes by occupational class. Methods: Negative binomial regression models were used to investigate Rate Ratios (RRs) in suicide by occupational class. Years of the GFC (2007, 2008, 2009) were compared to the baseline years 2001-2006. Results: There were widening disparities between a number of the lower class occupations and the highest class occupations during the years 2007, 2008, and 2009 for males, but less evidence of differences for females. Conclusions: Occupational disparities in suicide rates widened over the GFC period. There is a need for programs to be responsive to economic downturns, and to prioritise the occupational groups most affected.
... One explanation for these effects is that factors such as gender and race trigger discrimination within internal and external labor markets, which restricts these employees' access to secure jobs with better work designs (Heslin, Bell, & Fletcher, 2012;LaMontagne, Krnjacki, Kavanagh & Bentley, 2013). Discrimination by formal decision-makers then can continue once an individual is within a job. ...
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High quality job design has been identified as one of the most important determinants of employee well-being and performance, and –hence- firm performance. Although research has settled on the identification of the key job characteristics and their moderating and mediating variables, surprisingly many employees are still working in low quality jobs. Against this background, this symposium draws attention to the determinants or causes of job design. Specifically, throughout the contributions we build a multilevel perspective and tap into (1) job crafting of individual employees, (2) job crafting of coworkers, (3) implicit theories of job designers, (4) organizational values and (5) national institutions as antecedents of job characteristics. This symposium provides theoretical and empirical papers from around the globe, which rely on high quality data and state of the art methodology. Our work therefore invites scholars to take the research on job design to the next level and provides insight in how good job design might be facilitated by taking a multi-stakeholder perspective. • Job Crafting: A multi-level Typology and Integrated Framework • Presenter: Rachel Nayani; Norwich Business School • Presenter: Kevin Daniels; Norwich Business School • Presenter: Olga Tregaskis; Norwich Business School • How Intrinsic and Extrinsic Organization Values Relate to Job Demands and Job Resources. • Presenter: Anja Van den Broeck; KU Leuven • Presenter: Yannick Griep; Vrije U. Brussel • Presenter: Elfi Baillien; KU Leuven • Presenter: Maarten Sercu; External Service for Prevention and Protection at work • Presenter: Hans De Witte; KU Leuven • Presenter: Lode Godderis; Department of Public Health and Primary Care • Enjoyment of Work and Driven to Work as Interacting Motivations to Job Craft • Presenter: Gregory Allen Laurence; U. of Michigan, Flint • Presenter: Yitzhak Fried; Syracuse U. • The Influence of National Institutions on the Quality of Job Design in Europe from 1995 to 2010 • Presenter: David Holman; The U. of Manchester • Designing Work: What Task Allocations Come Naturally? • Presenter: Sharon K. Parker; U. of Western Australia • Presenter: Daniela Andrei; U. of Western Australia, Accelerated Learning Laboratory
... Gender, a social determinant of health [84], has particular relevance to the imbalance of effort and reward experienced by FDC educators. FDC is a precarious, undervalued and feminised occupation, which typifies persisting gender-related power imbalances in the workplace: women tend to be segregated into lower status occupations with less job control than men [85]. Low status and respect are entwined social resources that greatly influence the power of collectives to be heard and have their needs met [86]. ...
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High quality child care is a population health investment that relies on the capacity of providers. The mental health and wellbeing of child care educators is fundamental to care quality and turnover, yet sector views on the relationship between working conditions and mental health and wellbeing are scarce. This paper examines child care educators' and sector key informants' perspectives on how working in family day care influences educator's mental health and wellbeing. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with Australian family day care educators (n =16) and key informants (n =18) comprised of representatives from family day care schemes, government and other relevant organisations regarding the relationship between working conditions and educator mental health. Thematic analysis referenced the assumptions and concepts of critical inquiry and used social exchange theory. Educators and key informants reported that educators' mental health was affected by the quality of their relationships with government, family day care schemes, and the parents and children using their services. These social relationships created and contributed to working conditions that were believed to promote or diminish educators' mental health. High quality relationships featured fair exchanges of educator work for key resources of social support and respect; adequate income; professional services; and information. Crucially, how exchanges influenced educator wellbeing was largely contingent on government policies that reflect the values and inequities present in society. Making policies and relationships between educators, government and family day care schemes fairer would contribute strongly to the protection and promotion of educator mental health and wellbeing, and in turn contribute to workforce stability and care quality.
... This is partly because they are universal occupational exposures that can occur in any work context, as opposed to exposures that are associated with particular occupations or work contexts (e.g., working at heights, being exposed to ionising radiation). Consequently, a substantial proportion of the working population is exposed to poor psychosocial working conditions or job stressors, including low job control, excessive job demands, job insecurity, low social support at work, and bullying [7,8]. In addition, specific job stressors can be related to multiple health and health behavioural outcomes (e.g., low job control is predictive of cardiovascular health outcomes, depression, and anxiety) [7]. ...
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Background Employment status and working conditions are strong determinants of male health, and are therefore an important focus in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men). In this paper, we describe key work variables included in Ten to Men, and present analyses relating psychosocial job quality to mental health and subjective wellbeing at baseline. Methods A national sample of males aged 10 to 55 years residing in private dwellings was drawn using a stratified multi-stage cluster random sample design. Data were collected between October 2013 and July 2014 for a cohort of 15,988 males, representing a response fraction of 35 %. This analysis was restricted to 18–55 year old working age participants (n = 13,456). Work-related measures included employment status, and, for those who were employed, a number of working conditions including an ordinal scale of psychosocial job quality (presence of low job control, high demand and complexity, high job insecurity, and low fairness of pay), and working time-related stressors such as long working hours and night shift work. Associations between psychosocial job quality and two outcome measures, mental ill-health and subjective wellbeing, were assessed using multiple linear regression. Results The majority of participants aged 18–55 years were employed at baseline (85.6 %), with 8.4 % unemployed and looking for work, and 6.1 % not in the labour force. Among employed participants, there was a high prevalence of long working hours (49.9 % reported working more than 40 h/week) and night shift work (23.4 %). Psychosocial job quality (exposure to 0/1/2/3+ job stressors) prevalence was 36 %/ 37 %/ 20 %/ and 7 % of the working respondents. There was a dose–response relationship between psychosocial job quality and each of the two outcome measures of mental health and subjective wellbeing after adjusting for potential confounders, with higher magnitude associations between psychosocial job quality and subjective wellbeing. Conclusions These results extend the study of psychosocial job quality to demonstrate associations with a global measure of subjective wellbeing. Ten to Men represents a valuable new resource for the longitudinal and life course study of work and health in the Australian male population.
... Our results also suggest that there might be differences between genders in the associations between adolescentonset mental illness and psychosocial work stressors, as these associations were found in men (eight significant full-adjusted associations) more so than in women (one significant association only). Strong differences in the exposure to psychosocial work factors have been previously observed between genders in France as well as in other countries (LaMontagne et al. 2013;Niedhammer et al. 2008). These differences may be explained by a number of factors, including differences between men and women in occupation, sector, or industry (Niedhammer et al. 2000). ...
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Purpose: We investigated prospective associations between mental illness and psychosocial employment quality using a nationally representative sample of the French working population by gender, primary diagnosis, and age of onset. Methods: 6234 employed French adults (aged 20-74 years) were followed from 2006 to 2010. All respondents provided data on 26 indicators of psychosocial employment quality drawn from the Job-Strain Model, other job stressors, and indicators of working time stressors (i.e., shift work, night work, and long working hours). Results: We performed 272 statistical tests, of which 37 were significant following adjustment for age, poor socio-economic position during childhood, unemployment status at wave one, and anxiety or depression at wave two. Females with a lifetime diagnosis of any mental illness reported higher psychological and emotional demands at work, whilst males reported lower decision latitude, tensions with the public, and work-life imbalance. In both genders, a lifetime diagnosis of any mental illness was associated with role and ethical conflict. A lifetime diagnosis of major depression appeared to have stronger associations for females, whilst substance use disorder was associated with poorer psychosocial employment quality in males. Adolescent-onset mental illness might be associated with poorer psychosocial employment quality among men more so than women. Conclusions: Results suggest that people with a history of mental illness who obtain employment tend to be employed in jobs characterized by poor psychosocial quality. Employment quality should be considered in vocational rehabilitation policies and practices aimed at optimizing employment participation in this population.
... Very few studies were performed on differential changes in psychosocial work factors over time. Previous results in France and Europe over the period of the 2008 economic crisis (Malard et al. 2015(Malard et al. , 2013 are in agreement with our present findings, whereas a study in Australia reported no differential change in job control according to occupational skill level from 2001 to 2008 (LaMontagne et al. 2013). Consequently, our findings add to the thus far limited knowledge on the differential changes in psychosocial work factors over time, and suggest that careful consideration be given to these potential changes and their impact on JEMs. ...
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Objectives: The objectives of the study were to construct a job-exposure matrix (JEM) for psychosocial work factors of the job strain model, to evaluate its validity, and to compare the results over time. Methods: The study was based on national representative data of the French working population with samples of 46,962 employees (2010 SUMER survey) and 24,486 employees (2003 SUMER survey). Psychosocial work factors included the job strain model factors (Job Content Questionnaire): psychological demands, decision latitude, social support, job strain and iso-strain. Job title was defined by three variables: occupation and economic activity coded using standard classifications, and company size. A JEM was constructed using a segmentation method (Classification and Regression Tree-CART) and cross-validation. Results: The best quality JEM was found using occupation and company size for social support. For decision latitude and psychological demands, there was not much difference using occupation and company size with or without economic activity. The validity of the JEM estimates was higher for decision latitude, job strain and iso-strain, and lower for social support and psychological demands. Differential changes over time were observed for psychosocial work factors according to occupation, economic activity and company size. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that company size in addition to occupation may improve the validity of JEMs for psychosocial work factors. These matrices may be time-dependent and may need to be updated over time. More research is needed to assess the validity of JEMs given that these matrices may be able to provide exposure assessments to study a range of health outcomes.
... 7 Younger employees have been underrepresented in work ability research 8 and have been examined mostly as part of the general working-age population. [9][10][11] However, predictors of work disability can vary by age 9 and there appers to be differences in the patterns of sickness absence among younger and older employees. 12 Mental disorders are multi-factorial by etiology, and several socioeconomic, demographic, biological and environmental risk factors have been associated with a higher risk of long-term sickness absence due to mental disorders (LTSA-MD). ...
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Objective: We examined associations between working conditions and sickness absence due to mental disorders (LTSA-MD) among younger female public sector employees from different employment sectors. Methods: Survey data collected in 2017 (n = 3,048) among 19-39-year-old female employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland, were used to examine job demands, job control, physical workload, computer work, and covariates. Register data on LTSA-MD were used over 1-year follow-up. Negative binomial regression models were applied. Results: Adverse psychosocial and physical working conditions were associated with higher LTSA-MD during the follow-up. Health and social care workers had the highest number of days of LTSA-MD. Conclusion: Working conditions are important factors when aiming to prevent LTSA-MD among younger employees, in the health and social care sector in particular.
... The disproportionate loss of lower SES and lower occupational status participants, who are more likely to be exposed to poor psychosocial working conditions and adverse psychosocial work stressors, most likely would have biased our results towards the null. 47 ...
... The first model presents the gross prevalence ratio (PR) for each of the two outcomes, a result of the univariate analysis. In the second model, PR is adjusted by gender and age (women and youngsters were the exposure strata) 40 . In the third model, the variable "educational level" was inserted -in addition to the three variables previously inserted -and the PR adjusted by the three covariables was obtained, constituting the final models. ...
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Resumo Este estudo de corte transversal investigou a associação entre raça/cor autorrelatada e dois desfechos - demanda psicossocial e demanda física no trabalho - em 1.032 trabalhadores da Limpeza Urbana e da Indústria Calçadista, na Bahia. Mensurou-se demanda psicossocial por meio do Job Content Questionnaire e demanda física, com questões sobre posturas e manuseio de carga. Regressão de Cox forneceu razões de prevalência (RP) ajustadas por idade, sexo e escolaridade. Entre os pretos há maior proporção de coletores de lixo e menor proporção de cargos de supervisão. Trabalhadores pretos estão mais submetidos à alta demanda psicológica e à baixo controle e, consequentemente, à mais alta exigência no trabalho (RP=1,65). Ademais, são mais expostos ao trabalho com braços elevados (RP=1,93) e ao manuseio de carga (RP=1,62), comparados com brancos. Pardos estão mais expostos ao baixo controle (RP=1,36), ao trabalho com braços elevados (RP=1,48) e com manuseio de carga (RP=1,25), também comparados com brancos. Apoio social é mais baixo entre os pretos e pardos. O estudo demonstrou iniquidades nas exposições psicossocial e física no trabalho que estão em acordo com a concepção estrutural do racismo e sua evidência pode contribuir para condutas que ampliem a equidade no mundo do trabalho.
... However, entering the workforce can also be demanding and can compromise mental health: young workers seem to experience relatively high levels of psychological distress, workplace bullying, and addictive behaviors [14] compared with older workers. They seem to suffer from greater work-related distress and to be exposed to more psycho-social stressors, such as harassment, low control of employment status, and relational conflicts with colleagues [15,16]. At the same time, psychological distress was detected in 32.2-72.9% of university students [17][18][19]. ...
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Background: The present study aimed at comparing self-reported physical health and mental health among university students, workers, and working students aged between 19 years and 29 years. Method: Using data from National Health Surveys held in 2005 and 2013, a cross-sectional study was conducted on 18,612 Italian emerging adults grouped into three groups: university students, workers, and working students. The odds ratios of self-reported anxiety or depression, poor general health, and poor mental health and physical health (as assessed through SF-12) were estimated through logistic regression models adjusted for potential confounders. Results: Compared with workers, students showed an increased risk of anxiety or depression and a lower risk of poor general health. Students and working students showed an increased risk of reporting weak mental health compared with that in workers, while students displayed a lower risk of poor physical health. Significant differences were not found between the 2005 and 2013 surveys. Conclusions: These results are of considerable importance for psychologists as well as educational and occupation-based institutions for planning prevention programs and clinical interventions.
... A history of adolescent-onset depression could lead to greater exposure to psychosocial job stressors in a number of ways. For example, work has previously shown that reduced educational attainment has been associated with employment in lower occupational skill level jobs which, is turn, has been associated with higher exposure to job stressors [28]. Reduced and/or disrupted work experience due to mental health problems may also predispose some young people to employment in jobs characterized by lower occupational skill levels. ...
Article
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The aim of this study was to investigate whether depressive symptoms reported during adolescence are associated with subsequent educational and employment outcomes, including whether experiences of depressive symptoms in adolescence are associated with higher exposures to adverse psychosocial job stressors among those who were employed in emerging adulthood. We used data from the Victorian arm of the International Youth Development Study (IYDS). Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to model the association of depressive symptoms reported in 2002 (wave one) and/or 2003 (wave two) and self-reported completion of compulsory secondary schooling, employment status, and exposure to a number of psychosocial job stressors roughly a decade later (i.e., at wave three in 2014). In fully adjusted models, reporting high depressive symptoms at waves one or two (odds ratio (OR) 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55 to 0.92), as well as at both waves (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.75) were associated with a reduced likelihood of completing secondary schooling by wave three. High depressive symptoms reported at multiple waves were also associated with a reduced likelihood of employment (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.66). Amongst those employed at wave three (n = 2091; 72.5%), adolescent depressive symptoms were associated only with workplace incivility. Psychosocial job stressor exposures should be considered in the design and selection of jobs for young workers with a history of depressive symptoms in order to increase employment participation and sustainability for young people experiencing symptoms of depression.
... The outcome variable was self-rated job security and represented the summed combination of two variables: 'I have a secure future in my job' (rated from 1 to 7) and 'I worry about the future of my job' (rated from 1 to 7 reverse coded) and has been used in previous studies on job insecurity (LaMontagne et al., 2013). These variables were averaged into a 14-point (1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7) single measure and rescaled so that 1 represented the lowest level of job insecurity and 7 represented the highest level of job insecurity. ...
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Research significance:Job insecurity, the subjective individual anticipation of involuntary job loss, negatively affects employees' health and their engagement. Although the relationship between job insecurity and health has been extensively studied, job insecurity as an 'exposure' has received far less attention, with little known about the upstream determinants of job insecurity in particular. This research sought to identify the relationship between self-rated job insecurity and area-level unemployment using a longitudinal, nationally representative study of Australian households. Mixed-effect multi-level regression models were used to assess the relationship between area-based unemployment rates and self-reported job insecurity using data from a longitudinal, nationally representative survey running since 2001. Interaction terms were included to test the hypotheses that the relationship between area-level unemployment and job insecurity differed between occupational skill-level groups and by employment arrangement. Marginal effects were computed to visually depict differences in job insecurity across areas with different levels of unemployment. Results indicated that areas with the lowest unemployment rates had significantly lower job insecurity (predicted value 2.74; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.71-2.78, P < 0.001) than areas with higher unemployment (predicted value 2.81; 95% CI 2.79-2.84, P < 0.001). There was a stronger relationship between area-level unemployment and job insecurity among precariously and fixed-term employed workers than permanent workers. These findings demonstrate the independent influences of prevailing economic conditions, individual- and job-level factors on job insecurity. Persons working on a casual basis or on a fixed-term contract in areas with higher levels of unemployment are more susceptible to feelings of job insecurity than those working permanently.
... Similarly, job control was narrowed in younger workers compared with older ones among Australian workers. [12] This may be because a young age employee can give more effort and output to any organization. ...
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Background: Stress is a relationship between the person and the environment which has become one of the most serious health issues worldwide. Globally, the reported prevalence of stress shows 28% of men and 53% of women go through work-family stress. The prevalence is even more in Asian countries. In India, 87% of women are stressed for time to manage work and family. Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted among the working women of Pokhara Metropolitan. A stratified random sampling technique was used in the study. The total number of samples was divided into each category of the organization as per the percentage available. A self-administered structured questionnaire was given to all 183 women from the selected public as well as a private organization. Descriptive statistics were reported for demographic, socioeconomic, and various environmental as well as the nature of job-related factors of the respondents. A Chi-square test was used to find out the association between the variables. Results: This study revealed that the prevalence of job stress was 47.5% by Effort Reward Imbalance Questionnaire at mean score 40.08 (standard deviation ± 4.97). The age range of the participants was between 20 and 40 years, with a median age of 29 years. The majority of working women (61.2%) were from the age group of 20–30 years. The various factors found to be associated with job stress were participant's age, family type, health-care benefit at the office, and provision of health-care benefits. Conclusions: The findings of the study reveal that the overall prevalence of job stress was found to be 47.5%. Emphasis should be given to health-care benefits at the office of women as well as for the provision of proper family support and care during their job. Keywords: Associated factors, job stress, prevalence, working environment
... The disproportionate loss of participants of lower socioeconomic status and lower occupational status, who are more likely to be exposed to poor psychosocial working conditions and adverse psychosocial work stressors, may have biased our results towards the null. 48 However, loss to follow-up in consecutive HILDA waves was low (<10% for most waves). 31 It is also unclear to what extent our results can be generalised to other countries. ...
Article
Objective To examine the association between exposures to psychosocial work stressors and mortality in a nationally representative Australian working population sample. Methods 18 000 participants from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey with self-reported job demands, job control, job security and fair pay psychosocial work stressors exposures at baseline were followed for up to 15 waves. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to examine the association between psychosocial work stressors and mortality. Models were serially adjusted for each subgroup of demographic, socioeconomic, health and behavioural risk factors. Results Low job control was associated with a 39% increase in the risk of all-cause mortality (HR 1.39; 95% CI 1.04 to 1.85), controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, health and behavioural factors. A decreased risk of mortality was observed for workers with exposure to high job demands (HR 0.76; 95% CI 0.60 to 0.96, adjusted for gender and calendar), but the risk was attenuated after serially adjusting for socioeconomic status, health (HR=0.84; 95% CI 0.65 to 1.08) and behavioural (HR=0.79; 95% CI 0.60 to 1.04) factors. There did not appear to be an association between exposure to job insecurity (HR 1.03; 95% CI 0.79 to 1.33) and mortality, or unfair pay and mortality (HR 1.04; 95% CI 0.80 to 1.34). Conclusions Low job control may be associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality. Policy and practice interventions that reduce the adverse impact of low job control in stressful work environments could be considered to improve health and decrease risk of mortality.
... The push to redevelop the COPSOQ II to a third version (COPSOQ III) was based on three reasons: 1) Trends in the work environment: Work and working conditions have changed because of increased globalization and computerization to some extent intensified by the economic crisis in 2008. For example, types of management characterized by less trust (e.g., New Public Management; appraisal systems) have become more prevalent [43], along with the deterioration of working conditions in some [44,45], but not all countries [46,47]. Furthermore, income inequality has increased [48,49], and precarious work (e.g., involuntary part time work and short term contracts) has become more widespread [40,50,51], along with flexible timetables (e.g., weekend work, shift work), long working hours and lack of schedule adaptation. ...
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Introduction: A new third version of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ III) has been developed in response to trends in working life, theoretical concepts, and international experience. A key component of the COPSOQ III is a defined set of mandatory core items to be included in national short, middle, and long versions of the questionnaire. The aim of the present article is to present and test the reliability of the new international middle version of the COPSOQ III. Methods: The questionnaire was tested among 23,361 employees during 2016-2017 in Canada, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, and Turkey. A total of 26 dimensions (measured through scales or single items) of the middle version and two from the long version were tested. Psychometric properties of the dimensions were assessed regarding reliability (Cronbach α), ceiling and floor effects (fractions with extreme answers), and distinctiveness (correlations with other dimensions). Results: Most international middle dimensions had satisfactory reliability in most countries, though some ceiling and floor effects were present. Dimensions with missing values were rare. Most dimensions had low to medium intercorrelations. Conclusions: The COPSOQ III offers reliable and distinct measures of a wide range of psychosocial dimensions of modern working life in different countries; although a few measures could be improved. Future testing should focus on validation of the COPSOQ items and dimensions using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Such investigations would enhance the basis for recommendations using the COPSOQ III.
... The push to redevelop the COPSOQ II to a third version (COPSOQ III) was based on three reasons: 1) Trends in the work environment: Work and working conditions have changed because of increased globalization and computerization to some extent intensified by the economic crisis in 2008. For example, types of management characterized by less trust (e.g., New Public Management; appraisal systems) have become more prevalent [43], along with the deterioration of working conditions in some [44,45], but not all countries [46,47]. Furthermore, income inequality has increased [48,49], and precarious work (e.g., involuntary part time work and short term contracts) has become more widespread [40,50,51], along with flexible timetables (e.g., weekend work, shift work), long working hours and lack of schedule adaptation. ...
... The push to redevelop the COPSOQ II to a third version (COPSOQ III) was based on three reasons: 1) Trends in the work environment: Work and working conditions have changed because of increased globalization and computerization to some extent intensified by the economic crisis in 2008. For example, types of management characterized by less trust (e.g., New Public Management; appraisal systems) have become more prevalent [43], along with the deterioration of working conditions in some [44,45], but not all countries [46,47]. Furthermore, income inequality has increased [48,49], and precarious work (e.g., involuntary part time work and short term contracts) has become more widespread [40,50,51], along with flexible timetables (e.g., weekend work, shift work), long working hours and lack of schedule adaptation. ...
... Across many countries, changes in legislation, including occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation and regulations, and an array of other government legislation and mandates, were the pivotal drivers for change in the EAP field. More generally, there has also been a shift in community perceptions and awareness in regard to mental health issues and a growing preparedness to address these issues, including in settings such as the workplace (LaMontagne, Krnjacki, Kavanagh, & Bentley, 2013). Shifts in community sentiment and perceptions often have a knock-on effect in other places, such as the workplace, and function synergistically with factors such as legislation to bring about change (Pidd & Roche, 2008). ...
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A global online survey of Employee Assistance Program (EAP) professionals regarding EAP characteristics and development was conducted. Seventy-four respondents from 25 countries participated. Key developmental drivers identified were consumer demand and industry-based initiatives. EAPs were typically delivered by private “for-profit” organizations. EAP services predominantly comprised relationship, mental health, and trauma counseling delivered over four to five sessions through various delivery modes. Increasing focus on well-being and greater utilization of technology were reported. Few EAP-specific qualifications were offered, and professional standards were mostly voluntary. Although EAPs were perceived to generally be effective, they may encounter challenges in maintaining high-quality service provision into the future.
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Migrant workers may experience higher burdens of occupational injury and illness compared to native-born workers, which may be due to the differential exposure to occupational hazards, differential vulnerability to exposure-associated health impacts, or both. This study aims to assess if the relationships between psychosocial job characteristics and mental health vary by migrant status in Australia (differential vulnerability). A total of 8969 persons from wave 14 (2014–2015) of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey were included in the analysis. Psychosocial job characteristics included skill discretion, decision authority and job insecurity. Mental health was assessed via a Mental Health Inventory-5 score (MHI-5), with a higher score indicating better mental health. Migrant status was defined by (i) country of birth (COB), (ii) the combination of COB and English/Non-English dominant language of COB and (iii) the combination of COB and years since arrival in Australia. Data were analysed using linear regression, adjusting for gender, age and educational attainment. Migrant status was analysed as an effect modifier of the relationships between psychosocial job characteristics and mental health. Skill discretion and decision authority were positively associated with the MHI-5 score while job insecurity was negatively associated with the MHI-5 score. We found no statistical evidence of migrant status acting as an effect modifier of the psychosocial job characteristic―MHI-5 relationships. With respect to psychosocial job characteristic―mental health relationships, these results suggest that differential exposure to job stressors is a more important mechanism than differential vulnerability for generating occupational health inequities between migrants and native-born workers in Australia.
Article
Objectives: Underemployment occurs when workers are available for more hours of work than offered. It is a serious problem in many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, and particularly in Australia, where it affects about 8% of the employed population. This paper seeks to answer the question: does an increase in underemployment have an influence on mental health? Methods: The current paper uses data from an Australian cohort of working people (2001-2013) to investigate both within-person and between-person differences in mental health associated with being underemployed compared with being fully employed. The main exposure was underemployment (not underemployed, underemployed 1-5, 6-10, 11-20 and over 21 hours), and the outcome was the five-item Mental Health Inventory. Results: Results suggest that stepwise declines in mental health are associated with an increasing number of hours underemployed. Results were stronger in the random-effects (11-20 hours =-1.53, 95% CI -2.03 to -1.03, p<0.001; 21 hours and over -2.24, 95% CI -3.06 to -1.43, p<0.001) than fixed-effects models (11-20 hours =-1.11, 95% CI -1.63 to -0.58, p<0.001; 21 hours and over -1.19, 95% CI -2.06 to -0.32, p=0.008). This likely reflects the fact that certain workers were more likely to suffer the negative effects of underemployment than others (eg, women, younger workers, workers in lower-skilled jobs and who were casually employed). Conclusions: We suggest underemployment to be a target of future workplace prevention strategies.
Article
Differences in temporary and permanent workers’ risk-benefit appraisals need to be investigated due to its potential relationship with incurred risk and occupational risk-taking behaviours. A total of 158 temporary and 158 permanent workers were recruited and exposed to information on eleven different hazardous job contexts, the description of the required tasks, inherent occupational hazards, and suggested salaries. They were asked to report their perceptions on how hazardous the jobs are, their satisfaction with the accompanying salary, and their willingness to take the job for eleven different job contexts. Temporary workers reported lower job security, lower perceived control, and were more satisfied by salaries than their permanent counterparts; however, there was no difference in perceptions of hazard associated with the jobs. Temporary workers also reported greater willingness to take job opportunities. Temporary workers experience a unique array of stressors and may agree to hazardous work opportunities, not due to a lack of acknowledged safety and health risks, but rather a greater satisfaction from salaries. These findings need to be considered in the safety management of temporary workers, as organizations can improve safety and facilitate self-regulatory engagement in safer and healthier behaviours for both permanent and temporary employees with this appraisal system in mind.
Article
Objectives Increased injury risk among shift workers is often attributed to cognitive function deficits that come about as a result of sleep disruptions. However, little is known about the intermediate influences of other factors (eg, work stress, health) which may affect this relationship. In addition, gender differences in these the complex relationships have not been fully explored. The purpose of this study is to (1) identify the extent to which work and non-work factors mediate the relationship between shift work, sleep and subsequent subjective cognitive function; and (2) determine if the mediating pathways differ for men and women. Methods Data from the 2010 National Population Health Survey was used to create a cross-sectional sample of 4255 employed Canadians. Using path modelling, we examined the direct and indirect relationships between shift work, sleep duration, sleep quality and subjective cognitive function. Multigroup analyses tested for significantly different pathways between men and women. Potential confounding effects of age and self-reported health and potential mediating effects of work stress were simultaneously examined. Results Work stress and sleep quality significantly mediated the effects of shift work on cognition. Age and health confounded the relationship between sleep quality and subjective cognition. No differences were found between men and women. Conclusions Occupational health and safety programmes are needed to address stress and health factors, in addition to sleep hygiene, to effectively address cognitive function among shift workers.
Article
Background: Globally, there is growing concern regarding workers’ illicit drug use and its implications for health and workplace safety. Young workers in male-dominated industries, such as construction, may be more susceptible to illicit drug use, risky drinking and its associated harms. Purpose/objectives: To investigate drug use and perceptions of risk among male construction workers, drawing comparisons between workers under 25 years with older age groups. Methods: Workers in Sydney, Australia (N = 511) completed a survey measuring past year illicit drug and alcohol use, psychological distress and perceptions of drug-related risks to health and safety. Prevalence in the total sample was compared with national estimates, and differences between younger and older survey respondents were examined using logistic regression models. Results: Survey respondents’ cocaine, meth/amphetamine and cannabis use was significantly higher than estimates of male employees nationally (OR = 6.60, 3.58, 1.61, respectively). Young workers ≤24 were more likely to frequently use illicit drugs, drink heavily, and report psychological distress than those aged 35+. Workers ≤24 were least likely to perceive that drug use posed high risks to health or safety when compared with 25-34 and 35+ age groups. Conclusions/importance: The findings highlight the high prevalence of illicit drug use amongst young construction workers, representing threats to workplace safety even if used outside work hours. Greater emphasis on potential adverse effects of alcohol and drug use and closer examination of contributory workplace factors are required. These findings have practical implications to inform occupational health and safety programs and interventions in high-risk workplaces.
Article
Objective: This study aimed to explore the development of working conditions within and between occupations in the Swedish labor market from 1997 to 2015 and whether any polarization in working conditions concurrently occurred between occupations. Methods: Cross-sectional data from ten waves of the Swedish Work Environment Surveys (1997-2015) were used and an aggregated occupational-level dataset was created using the Swedish Standard Classification of Occupations. To capture the patterns of change in working conditions over time (ie, growth), growth curve modeling was used to identify the starting points for 89 occupations (intercepts) as well as both the shape (functional form) and rate of growth (slope) over time. Results: The Swedish labor market was stable overall, with some small, mainly positive, changes in job demands and resources. Different occupations developed in divergent directions, but there was no evidence of polarization. Conclusions: The findings indicate that macro-level stability can hide highly heterogeneous patterns of change among different occupational groups. This type of analysis, taking context into account, could be valuable for decision makers intending to improve the work environment.
Article
Objective: This longitudinal study of Australian workers explores a possible causal relationship between job control and general health. Methods: Our sample included 105,017 observations (18,574 persons) over 13 annual waves from working age participants with information on job control, general health, and other sociodemographic and health factors. Three complementary longitudinal modelling approaches were used to explore the causal relationship. Results: There was a strong stepwise, mostly exposure to outcome, relationship between increasing job control and general health. Cumulative exposure to low job control resulted in increasingly worse general health. Taken together, these findings provide good evidence of a causal relationship between low job control and general health. Conclusion: This analysis with improved causal inference over previous research showed that change in job control is strongly associated with change in general health.
Article
Background People with disabilities are socio-economically disadvantaged and have poorer health than people without disabilities; however, little is known about the way in which disadvantage is patterned by gender and type of impairment. Objectives 1. To describe whether socio-economic circumstances vary according to type of impairment (sensory and speech, intellectual, physical, psychological and acquired brain injury) 2. To compare levels of socio-economic disadvantage for women and men with the same impairment type Methods We used a large population-based disability-focused survey of Australians, analysing data from 33,101 participants aged 25 to 64. Indicators of socio-economic disadvantage included education, income, employment, housing vulnerability, and multiple disadvantage. Stratified by impairment type, we estimated: the population weighted prevalence of socio-economic disadvantage; the relative odds of disadvantage compared to people without disabilities; and the relative odds of disadvantage between women and men. Results With few exceptions, people with disabilities fared worse for every indicator compared to people without disability; those with intellectual and psychological impairments and acquired brain injuries were most disadvantaged. While overall women with disabilities were more disadvantaged than men, the magnitude of the relative differences was lower than the same comparisons between women and men without disabilities, and there were few differences between women and men with the same impairment types. Conclusions Crude comparisons between people with and without disabilities obscure how disadvantage is patterned according to impairment type and gender. The results emphasise the need to unpack how gender and disability intersect to shape socio-economic disadvantage.
Article
Objectives: Previous research suggests that psychosocial job stressors may be plausible risk factors for suicide. This study assessed the relationship between psychosocial job stressors and suicide mortality across the Australian population. Methods: We developed a job exposure matrix to objectively measure job stressors across the working population. Suicide data came from a nationwide coronial register. Living controls were selected from a nationally representative cohort study. Incidence density sampling was used to ensure that controls were sampled at the time of death of each case. The period of observation for both cases and controls was 2001 to 2012. We used multilevel logistic regression to assess the odds of suicide in relation to 2 psychosocial job stressors (job control and job demands), after matching for age, sex, and year of death/survey and adjusting for socioeconomic status. Results: Across 9,010 cases and 14,007 matched controls, our results suggest that low job control (odds ratio [OR], 1.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.26-1.44; p < .001) and high job demands (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.26-1.46; p < .001) were associated with increased odds of male suicide after adjusting for socioeconomic status. High demands were associated with lower odds of female suicide (OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.72-0.92; p = .002). Conclusions: It seems that adverse experiences at work are a risk factor for male suicide while not being associated with an elevated risk among females. Future studies on job stressors and suicide are needed, both to further understand the biobehavioral mechanisms explaining the link between job stress and suicide, and to inform targeted prevention initiatives.
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Interventions or programs to improve the organization of work and reduce the impact of stressful jobs on our health can be conducted in a wide variety of ways. Changes can be madeat the level of the job, at the level of the organization, at a more individual level, or from outside the organization through laws and regulations. The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed a summary of levels of interventions and categories of prevention (Table 1) (1). The author's additions to NIOSH's original version of this table are in italics.
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Much research on precarious employment compares permanent workers with one or two other broadly-defined employment categories. We developed a more refined method of examining precariousness by defining current employment arrangements in terms of job characteristics. These employment arrangement categories were then compared in terms of socio-demographics and self-reported job insecurity. This investigation was based on a cross-sectional population-based survey of a random sample of 1,101 working Australians. Eight mutually exclusive employment categories were identified: Permanent Full-time (46.4%), Permanent Part-time (18.3%), Casual Full-time (2.7%), Casual Part-time (9.3%), Fixed Term Contract (2.1%), Labour Hire (3.6%), Own Account Self-employed (7.4%), and Other Self-employed (9.5%). These showed significant and coherent differences in job characteristics, socio-demographics and perceived job insecurity. These empirically-supported categories may provide a conceptual guide for government agencies, policy makers and researchers in areas including occupational health and safety, taxation, labour market regulations, the working poor, child poverty, benefit programs, industrial relations, and skills development.
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Although employment is associated with health benefits over unemployment, the psychosocial characteristics of work also influence health. We used longitudinal data to investigate whether the benefits of having a job depend on its psychosocial quality (levels of control, demands and complexity, job insecurity, and unfair pay), and whether poor quality jobs are associated with better mental health than unemployment. Analysis of seven waves of data from 7,155 respondents of working age (44,019 observations) from a national household panel survey. Longitudinal regression models evaluated the concurrent and prospective association between employment circumstances (unemployment and employment in jobs varying in psychosocial job quality) and mental health, assessed by the MHI-5. Overall, unemployed respondents had poorer mental health than those who were employed. However the mental health of those who were unemployed was comparable or superior to those in jobs of the poorest psychosocial quality. This pattern was evident in prospective models: those in the poorest quality jobs showed greater decline in mental health than those who were unemployed (B = 3.03, p<0.05). The health benefits of becoming employed were dependent on the quality of the job. Moving from unemployment into a high quality job led to improved mental health (mean change score of +3.3), however the transition from unemployment to a poor quality job was more detrimental to mental health than remaining unemployed (-5.6 vs -1.0). Work of poor psychosocial quality does not bestow the same mental health benefits as employment in jobs with high psychosocial quality.
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To determine minimally important differences (MIDs) for scales in the first version of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ). Data were taken from two separate studies: a national population survey (N = 1062), and an intervention study at 14 workplaces (N = 1505). On the basis of the population survey, the MID for each COPSOQ scale was calculated as one-half of a standard deviation (0.5 SD). For the core COPSOQ scales on ''Quantitative demands'', ''Influence at work'', ''Predictability'', ''Social support (from colleagues and supervisors, respectively)'', and ''Job satisfaction'', the MIDs were evaluated in the intervention study, where score differences for the scales were linked to the respondents' global self-evaluation of the impact of the interventions. The scales were scored from 0 to 100 in both studies. The MIDs calculated as 0.5 SD were, on average, 9.2 (range 6.8-14.9) for the long version scales, and 10.8 (range 7.6-14.9) for the medium-length version scales. The analysis of the self-evaluated changes on the scale scores for the core COPSOQ scales showed that the anchor-based estimates of MID were generally lower than 0.5 SD. We recommend the following MID values for the COPSOQ scales: ''Quantitative demands'', 0.3 SD; ''Influence'', 0.2 SD; ''Predictability'', 0.3 SD; ''Social support from colleagues'', 0.3 SD; ''Social support from supervisor'', 0.7 SD; and ''Job satisfaction'', 0.4 SD. For all other COPSOQ scales, where we do not have anchor-based results, we recommend the conventional MID value of 0.5 SD.
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The importance of workers' language and migration characteristics to safety in the work environment has been debated but remains unclear. This study examined the role of these factors in the occurrence of work-related fatalities in Australia. The study was based on an investigation of all work-related fatalities occurring in Australia during 1982-1984. Denominators for each year were obtained according to gender and country-of-birth census data from the 1981 and 1986 national censuses, interpolated and adjusted according to annual labor force survey estimates for the period 1981 to 1986 to indicate the true movement of the employed civilian labor force over the study period. Of 1211 decedents identified with known country of birth, 333 were born outside of Australia. The overall fatality incidence per 100,000 person-years in the employed civilian labor force was 7.12 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 6.36-7.88], which is similar to that of Australian-born persons, 6.56 (95% CI 6.12-6.99). However, fatality incidences in rural and mining occupations were significantly increased among overseas-born persons when they were compared with Australian-born persons. Mortality ratios standardized separately for occupation and age showed significantly elevated mortality for duration of residence of less than five years, particularly for persons of non-English speaking background. These values converged to the Australian rate with increasing duration of residence. This study suggests that factors related to country of birth (eg, language) and duration of residence of overseas-born workers are important determinants of safety at work in Australia.
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This study attempts to estimate the proportion of annual deaths related to occupational factors in Finland and considers related methodological issues and associated uncertainties. Statistics on causes of death, numbers of subjects exposed, and risk ratios obtained from the epidemiologic literature were used to estimate the population attributable fraction and disease burden for causes of death from work-related diseases. Gender-, age- and disease-specific numbers of deaths were provided by Statistics Finland for 1996. Information on the size of the population, broken down by gender, age, occupation, and industry, was acquired from population censuses. A Finnish job-exposure matrix supplied data on the prevalence of exposure for specific agents and the level of exposure among exposed workers. The attributable fraction of work-related mortality in the relevant disease and age categories was estimated to be 7% (10% for men and 2% for women), and for all diseases and ages the fraction was 4%. For the main cause-of-death categories, the attributable fraction became 12% for circulatory system diseases, 8% for malignant neoplasms, 4% for respiratory system diseases, 4% for mental disorders, 3% for nervous system diseases, and 3% for accidents and violence. The following estimates were obtained for specific important diseases: 24% for lung cancer, 17% for ischemic heart disease, 12% for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and 11% for stroke. Based on these fractions, the total number of work-related deaths that occurred in Finland in 1996 was calculated to be on the order of 1800 (employed work force of 2.1 million); 86% involved men. High-quality epidemiologic studies and national survey data are essential for obtaining reliable estimates of the proportion of deaths attributable to occupational factors. The magnitude of work-related mortality is an insufficiently recognized contributor to total mortality in Finland, especially from circulatory diseases and other diseases caused by exposure to agents other than asbestos.
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The aims of this study were (i) to describe the trends in the work environment in 1990-2000 among employees in Denmark and (ii) to establish whether these trends were attributable to labor-force changes. The split-panel design of the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study includes interviews with three cross-sections of 6067, 5454, and 5404 employees aged 18-59 years, each representative of the total Danish labor force in 1990, 1995 and 2000. In the cross-sections, the participation rate decreased over the period (90% in 1990, 80% in 1995, 76% in 2000). The relative differences in participation due to gender, age, and region did not change noticeably. Jobs with decreasing prevalence were clerks, cleaners, textile workers, and military personnel. Jobs with increasing prevalence were academics, computer professionals, and managers. Intense computer use, long workhours, and noise exposure increased. Job insecurity, part-time work, kneeling work posture, low job control, and skin contact with cleaning agents decreased. Labor-force changes fully explained the decline in low job control and skin contact to cleaning agents and half of the increase in long workhours, but not the other work environment changes. The work environment of Danish employees improved from 1990 to 2000, except for increases in long workhours and noise exposure. From a specific work environment intervention point of view, the development has been less encouraging because declines in low job control, as well as skin contact to cleaning agents, were explained by labor-force changes.
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Empirical studies on job strain and cardiovascular disease (CVD), their internal validity, and the likely direction of biases were examined. The 17 longitudinal studies had the highest validity ratings. In all but two, biases towards the null dominated. Eight, including several of the largest, showed significant positive results; three had positive, nonsignificant findings. Six of nine case-control studies had significant positive findings; recall bias leading to overestimation appears to be fairly minimal. Four of eight cross-sectional studies had significant positive results. Men showed strong, consistent evidence of an association between exposure to job strain and CVD. The data of the women were more sparse and less consistent, but, as for the men, most of the studies probably underestimated existing effects. Other elements of causal inference, particularly biological plausibility, corroborated that job strain is a major CVD risk factor. Additional intervention studies are needed to examine the impact of ameliorating job strain upon CVD-related outcomes.
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We assessed long-term trends in ethylene oxide (EtO) worker exposures for the purposes of exposure surveillance and evaluation of the impacts of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1984 and 1988 EtO standards. We obtained exposure data from a large commercial vendor and processor of EtO passive dosimeters. Personal samples (87,582 workshift [8-hr] and 46,097 short-term [15-min] samples) from 2265 US hospitals were analyzed for time trends from 1984 through 2001 and compared with OSHA enforcement data. Exposures declined steadily for the first several years after the OSHA standards were set. Workshift exposures continued to taper off and have remained low and constant through 2001. However, since 1996, the probability of exceeding the short-term excursion limit has increased. This trend coincides with a decline in enforcement of the EtO standard. Results indicate the need for renewed intervention efforts to preserve gains made following the passage and implementation of the 1984 and 1988 EtO standards.
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To determine the changes in levels of work stressors in a nationally representative sample of Canadian workers from 1994/95 to 2000/01. We compared responses for an abbreviated version of the Job Content Questionnaire in two waves of the National Population Health Survey (NPHS). Other items and scales related to work and health were also analyzed. Data were transformed to range from 0 to 10. Comparisons of the 2000/01 data were also made with the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) conducted in 2000. There were only very small absolute differences between NPHS 2000/01 data and CCHS 2000 data. The NPHS comparison from 1994/95 to 2000/01 showed an increase in job security (change in means = 0.49, 95% CI 0.39 to 0.58) and a decrease in job physical demands (change in means = 0.45, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.54). Other changes in work characteristics were small in absolute value. The combined "overall work stressors" index dropped by 0.12 (95% CI 0.08 to 0.15). Levels of work stressors did not increase over the period. Some subscales showed an improvement.
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To clarify the associations between psychosocial work stressors and mental ill health, a meta-analysis of psychosocial work stressors and common mental disorders was undertaken using longitudinal studies identified through a systematic literature review. The review used a standardized search strategy and strict inclusion and quality criteria in seven databases in 1994-2005. Papers were identified from 24,939 citations covering social determinants of health, 50 relevant papers were identified, 38 fulfilled inclusion criteria, and 11 were suitable for a meta-analysis. The Comprehensive Meta-analysis Programme was used for decision authority, decision latitude, psychological demands, and work social support, components of the job-strain and iso-strain models, and the combination of effort and reward that makes up the effort-reward imbalance model and job insecurity. Cochran's Q statistic assessed the heterogeneity of the results, and the I2 statistic determined any inconsistency between studies. Job strain, low decision latitude, low social support, high psychological demands, effort-reward imbalance, and high job insecurity predicted common mental disorders despite the heterogeneity for psychological demands and social support among men. The strongest effects were found for job strain and effort-reward imbalance. This meta-analysis provides robust consistent evidence that (combinations of) high demands and low decision latitude and (combinations of) high efforts and low rewards are prospective risk factors for common mental disorders and suggests that the psychosocial work environment is important for mental health. The associations are not merely explained by response bias. The impact of work stressors on common mental disorders differs for women and men.
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Ninety reports of systematic evaluations of job-stress interventions were rated in terms of the degree of systems approach used. A high rating was defined as both organizationally and individually focused, versus moderate (organizational only), and low (individual only). Studies using high-rated approaches represent a growing proportion of the job-stress intervention evaluation literature. Individual-focused, low-rated approaches are effective at the individual level, favorably affecting individual-level outcomes, but tend not to have favorable impacts at the organizational level. Organizationally-focused high- and moderate-rated approaches are beneficial at both individual and organizational levels. Further measures are needed to foster the dissemination and implementation of systems approaches to examining interventions for job stress.
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Systematic review of the health and psychosocial effects of increasing employee participation and control through workplace reorganisation, with reference to the "demand-control-support" model of workplace health. Systematic review (QUORUM) of experimental and quasi-experimental studies (any language) reporting health and psychosocial effects of such interventions. Electronic databases (medical, social science and economic), bibliographies and expert contacts. We identified 18 studies, 12 with control/comparison groups (no randomised controlled trials). Eight controlled and three uncontrolled studies found some evidence of health benefits (especially beneficial effects on mental health, including reduction in anxiety and depression) when employee control improved or (less consistently) demands decreased or support increased. Some effects may have been short term or influenced by concurrent interventions. Two studies of participatory interventions occurring alongside redundancies reported worsening employee health. This systematic review identified evidence suggesting that some organisational-level participation interventions may benefit employee health, as predicted by the demand-control-support model, but may not protect employees from generally poor working conditions. More investigation of the relative impacts of different interventions, implementation and the distribution of effects across the socioeconomic spectrum is required.
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To systematically review the health and psychosocial effects (with reference to the demand-control-support model) of changes to the work environment brought about by task structure work reorganisation, and to determine whether those effects differ for different socioeconomic groups. Systematic review (QUORUM) of experimental and quasi-experimental studies (any language) reporting health and psychosocial effects of such interventions. Seventeen electronic databases (medical, social science and economic), bibliographies and expert contacts. Nineteen studies were reviewed. Some task-restructuring interventions failed to alter the psychosocial work environment significantly, and so could not be expected to have a measurable effect on health. Those that increased demand and decreased control tended to have an adverse effect on health, while those that decreased demand and increased control resulted in improved health, although some effects were minimal. Increases in workplace support did not appear to mediate this relationship. This systematic review suggests that task-restructuring interventions that increase demand or decrease control adversely affect the health of employees, in line with observational research. It lends support to policy initiatives such as the recently enforced EU directive on participation at work, which aims to increase job control and autonomy.
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The broad aim of this study was to assess the contribution of job strain to mental health inequalities by (a) estimating the proportion of depression attributable to job strain (low control and high demand jobs), (b) assessing variation in attributable risk by occupational skill level, and (c) comparing numbers of job strain-attributable depression cases to numbers of compensated 'mental stress' claims. Standard population attributable risk (PAR) methods were used to estimate the proportion of depression attributable to job strain. An adjusted Odds Ratio (OR) of 1.82 for job strain in relation to depression was obtained from a recently published meta-analysis and combined with exposure prevalence data from the Australian state of Victoria. Job strain exposure prevalence was determined from a 2003 population-based telephone survey of working Victorians (n = 1101, 66% response rate) using validated measures of job control (9 items, Cronbach's alpha = 0.80) and psychological demands (3 items, Cronbach's alpha = 0.66). Estimates of absolute numbers of prevalent cases of depression and successful stress-related workers' compensation claims were obtained from publicly available Australian government sources. Overall job strain-population attributable risk (PAR) for depression was 13.2% for males [95% CI 1.1, 28.1] and 17.2% [95% CI 1.5, 34.9] for females. There was a clear gradient of increasing PAR with decreasing occupational skill level. Estimation of job strain-attributable cases (21,437) versus "mental stress" compensation claims (696) suggest that claims statistics underestimate job strain-attributable depression by roughly 30-fold. Job strain and associated depression risks represent a substantial, preventable, and inequitably distributed public health problem. The social patterning of job strain-attributable depression parallels the social patterning of mental illness, suggesting that job strain is an important contributor to mental health inequalities. The numbers of compensated 'mental stress' claims compared to job strain-attributable depression cases suggest that there is substantial under-recognition and under-compensation of job strain-attributable depression. Primary, secondary, and tertiary intervention efforts should be substantially expanded, with intervention priorities based on hazard and associated health outcome data as an essential complement to claims statistics.
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The risk that flexible forms of employment are harmful to the health of workers is a major public health issue for the many countries, including Australia, where such forms of employment are common or have been growing. Casual, contract and part-time employment in Australia rose rapidly in the decade to 1998 and remains high at 40% of employees in 2011. We investigate the impacts on mental health of employment on these terms and of unemployment. We use nine waves of panel survey data and dynamic random-effects panel data regression models to estimate the impact on self-rated mental health of unemployment, and of employment on a part-time, casual or contract basis, compared with permanent full-time employment. We control for demographic and socio-economic characteristics, occupation, disabilities status, negative life events and the level of social support. We find almost no evidence that flexible employment harms mental health. Unemployed men (but not women) have significantly and substantially lower mental health. But among the employed, only men who are on fixed-term contracts, most especially graduates, have lower mental health than those who are employed on full-time permanent terms. Women have significantly higher mental health if they are employed full time on casual terms.
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The risk that flexible forms of employment are harmful to the health of workers is a major public health issue for the many countries, including Australia, where such forms of employment are common or have been growing. We ask whether the century-old system of arbitrated protections for workers and the distinctive welfare state in Australia averts any such harm to mental health. If Australian workers are harmed despite these protections, this adds weight to the international concerns about the hazards of flexible employment. Employing nine waves of panel survey data and dynamic random-effects panel data regression models, we examine the mental health consequences of unemployment, and of employment on a casual or fixed-term basis, compared with permanent employment. We control for demographic and socio-economic characteristics, occupation, disabilities status, negative life events, and the level of social support. We find almost no evidence that flexible employment harms mental health. Unemployed men (but not women) have significantly and substantially lower mental health. But among the employed, only men who are on fixed term contracts, most especially graduates, have lower mental health than those who are employed on full-time permanent terms. Women have significantly higher mental health if they are employed full-time on casual terms.
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There exists a substantial degree of diversity across strategies to prevent and manage work-related psychosocial risks and their associated health effects. Whereas it is common to distinguish between organizational and individual interventions, the important level of policy-level interventions has been largely neglected in the mainstream academic literature. Despite a number of significant developments towards the management of psychosocial risks that have been achieved at the policy level in the European Union (EU), these initiatives have not had the impact anticipated both by experts and policy makers. This paper discusses the policy context to the management of work-related psychosocial risks in the EU, identifying major achievements and challenges in relation to policy and practice. It draws on the findings of the PRIMA-EF project, a policy-oriented research programme funded by the European Commission's 6th Framework Programme for Research. It is concluded that although a common policy context in the area of psychosocial risk management has developed in the EU, there still exists great variation in the translation of these initiatives into practice in different EU member states. Moreover, evaluation in this area is sporadic, even though it could inform the way forward as concerns both policy and practice developments.
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Since the mid-1990s Australia's immigration program has focused on encouraging skilled migration. This study investigated skill usage in three longitudinal studies of immigrants to Australia and examined if there is an association with mental health status. Three Longitudinal Surveys of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA), with multiple data collection waves, were conducted between 1994 and 2006. Some 5,192 primary applicants participated in LSIA1, 3,124 in LSIA2 and 9,865 in LSIA3. Data collected included demographics and employment history in all surveys as well as mental health in LSIA1 and 2. Among migrants in LSIA 1, 49% reported working in jobs in which they used their skills sometimes, rarely or never, 3½ years after immigrating. This was not solely explained by English language proficiency as 47% of migrants who reported speaking English well or very well did not use their qualifications in their job. Migrants who did not use their job qualifications at wave three had a worse GHQ-12 score at wave three after adjusting for age, sex, country of birth and highest educational qualification. There was no difference in wave one or wave two GHQ-12 score between those who did or did not use their job qualifications at wave three. The pattern was similar for those migrants in LSIA 2. There is a large under-utilisation of employment skills in the migrant population in Australia up to 3½ years after immigrating. This is associated with poorer mental health.
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The evidence linking precarious employment with poor health is mixed. Self-reported occupational exposures in a population-based Australian sample were assessed to investigate the potential for differential exposure to psychosocial and other occupational hazards to contribute to such a relationship, hypothesizing that exposures are worse under more precarious employment arrangements (EA). Various psychoscial and other working conditions were modeled in relation to eight empirically derived EA categories with Permanent Full-Time (PFT) as the reference category (N = 925), controlling for sex, age, and occupational skill level. More precarious EA were associated with higher odds of adverse exposures. Casual Full-Time workers had the worst exposure profile, showing the lowest job control, as well as the highest odds of multiple job holding, shift work, and exposure to four or more additional occupational hazards. Fixed-Term Contract workers stood out as the most likely to report job insecurity. Self-employed workers showed the highest job control, but also the highest odds of long working hours. Psychosocial and other working conditions were generally worse under more precarious EA, but patterns of adverse occupational exposures differ between groups of precariously employed workers.
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In general, women report more physical and mental symptoms than men. International comparisons of countries with different welfare state regimes may provide further understanding of the social determinants of sex inequalities in health. This study aims to evaluate (1) whether there are sex inequalities in health functioning as measured by the Short Form 36 (SF-36), and (2) whether work characteristics contribute to the sex inequalities in health among employees from Britain, Finland, and Japan, representing liberal, social democratic, and conservative welfare state regimes, respectively. The participants were 7340 (5122 men and 2218 women) British employees, 2297 (1638 men and 659 women) Japanese employees, and 8164 (1649 men and 6515 women) Finnish employees. All the participants were civil servants aged 40-60 years. We found that more women than men tended to have disadvantaged work characteristics (i.e. low employment grade, low job control, high job demands, and long work hours) but such sex differences were relatively smaller among employees from Finland, where more gender equal policies exist than Britain and Japan. The age-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of women for poor physical functioning was the largest for British women (OR = 2.08), followed by for Japanese women (OR = 1.72), and then for Finnish women (OR = 1.51). The age-adjusted OR of women for poor mental functioning was the largest for Japanese women (OR = 1.91), followed by for British women (OR = 1.45), and then for Finnish women (OR = 1.07). Thus, sex differences in physical and mental health was the smallest in the Finnish population. The larger the sex differences in work characteristics, the larger the sex differences in health and the reduction in the sex differences in health after adjustment for work characteristics. These results suggest that egalitarian and gender equal policies may contribute to smaller sex differences in health, through smaller differences in disadvantaged work characteristics between men and women.
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As in many other areas of social determinants of health, policy recommendations on employment conditions and health inequalities need to be implemented and evaluated. Case studies at the country level can provide a flavor of "what works," but they remain essentially subjective. Employment conditions research should provide policies that actually reduce health inequalities among workers. Workplace trials showing some desired effect on the intervention group are insufficient for such a broad policy research area. To provide a positive heuristic, the authors propose a set of new policy research priorities, including placing more focus on "solving" and less on"problematizing" the health effects of employment conditions; developing policy-oriented theoretical frameworks to reduce employment-related inequalities in health; developing research on methods to test the effects of labor market policies; generalizing labor market interventions; engaging, reaching out to, and holding onto workers exposed to multiple forms of unhealthy employment conditions; measuring labor market inequalities in health; planning, early on, for sustainability in labor market interventions; studying intersectoral effects across multiple interventions to reduce health inequalities; and looking for evidence in a global context.