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Status inconsistency and mental health: A random effects and instrumental variables analysis using 14 annual waves of cohort data

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  • Milner, Allison
  • Aitken, Zoe
  • Kavanagh, Anne
  • LaMontagne, Anthony D.
  • Petrie, Dennis

Abstract

Status inconsistency refers to a discrepancy between the position a person holds in one domain of their social environment comparative to their position in another domain. For example, the experience of being overeducated for a job, or not using your skills in your job. We sought to assess the relationship between status inconsistency and mental health using 14 annual waves of cohort data. We used two approaches to measuring status inconsistency: 1) being overeducated for your job (objective measure); and b) not using your skills in your job (subjective measure). We implemented a number of methodological approaches to assess the robustness of our findings, including instrumental variable, random effects, and fixed effects analysis. Mental health was assessed using the Mental Health Inventory-5. The random effects analysis indicates that only the subjective measure of status inconsistency was associated with a slight decrease in mental health (β−1.57, 95% −1.78 to −1.36, p < 0.001). This size of these coefficients was maintained in the instrumental variable analysis. We suggest that status inconsistency might explain some of the relationship between social determinants (such as work and education) and health outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Milner, Allison & Aitken, Zoe & Kavanagh, Anne & LaMontagne, Anthony D. & Petrie, Dennis, 2017. "Status inconsistency and mental health: A random effects and instrumental variables analysis using 14 annual waves of cohort data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 189(C), pages 129-137.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:189:y:2017:i:c:p:129-137
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.08.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jones, Melanie K & Mavromaras, Kostas & Sloane, Peter J & Wei, Zhang (NILS), 2011. "NILS Working paper no 176. Disability and job mismatches in the Australian labour market," NILS Working Papers 26074, National Institute of Labour Studies.
    2. Allen, Jim & van der Velden, Rolf, 2001. "Educational Mismatches versus Skill Mismatches: Effects on Wages, Job Satisfaction, and On-the-Job Search," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 434-452, July.
    3. Mavromaras, Kostas G. & Sloane, Peter J. & Wei, Zhang, 2011. "Disability and Job Mismatches in the Australian Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 6152, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Mackenbach, Johan P. & Kulhánová, Ivana & Bopp, Matthias & Deboosere, Patrick & Eikemo, Terje A. & Hoffmann, Rasmus & Kulik, Margarete C. & Leinsalu, Mall & Martikainen, Pekka & Menvielle, Gwenn & Reg, 2015. "Variations in the relation between education and cause-specific mortality in 19 European populations: A test of the “fundamental causes” theory of social inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 51-62.
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