Hostility, unemployment and health status: testing three theoretical models
This study examined three theoretical models of hostility, health and life context. According to the psychosocial vulnerability hypothesis, there is an interaction between hostility and adverse conditions. The increased health risk in hostile individuals is assumed to stem from their lower ability to benefit from existing psychosocial resources. The second hypothesis, called here the social context model, considers adverse conditions as an antecedent of both hostility and health problems. The third model states that hostility is a predictor of being selected to adverse conditions involving risk to health (the selection hypothesis). The results from a survey of a population-based random sample (2153 non-institutionalized citizens aged 18-64 years) in Finland, showed that hostile men had a high prevalence of non-optimal health, irrespective of employment status. In non-hostile men, employment was associated with better health than unemployment. This association between hostility and unemployment was not found in women. Corresponding findings were obtained from a 1959-born cohort of 311 individuals followed up for 27 years. The combination of high hostility at school age and unemployment in adulthood had an additive effect on poor health in adult men but not in adult women. Hostility in childhood was not significantly associated with unemployment in adulthood. Thus, this study supported the psychosocial vulnerability model in men.
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Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
Issue (Month): 10 (May)
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