The importance of full-time work for urban adults' mental and physical health
Unemployment and underemployment have adverse mental and physical health consequences, such as increased stress and depression. Health damaging behaviors like unhealthy eating, smoking, and alcohol use may be used to cope, contributing to chronic disease risk. In this adverse economic climate, it is vital to understand the health implications of unemployment and underemployment as well as underlying mechanisms. A randomized household survey of adults in six low resource communities was conducted in New Haven, Connecticut in 2009, yielding a sample of 1205 (73% participation) racially diverse adults (61% Black, 20% Latino, 12% White) ages 18–65 (61% women). We used ANOVA to test group differences and structural equation modeling to test mediation. 14.5% were unemployed and looking for work, 18.4% worked part-time, 38.2% worked full-time. Those employed full-time reported the least damaging psychological factors and health behaviors: lowest levels of stress and depression, most healthy and least unhealthy eating, most physical activity, and lowest levels of smoking and drinking. Those employed part-time fell in the middle, and those unemployed fell on the unhealthy end of all psychological and behavioral factors. Stress significantly mediated the associations of full-time employment with frequency of unhealthy eating and physical activity, and amount of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. Depression significantly mediated the association of full-time employment with frequency of healthy eating. Compared to <10% nationwide, rates of unemployment in this sample were high. Both those unemployed and employed part-time reported adverse health behaviors as compared to those employed full-time, partially mediated by heightened stress and depression. It is vital for the health and well-being of the nation to increase not simply employment, but specifically full-time employment. Provision of mental health services to those unemployed and underemployed should be a priority to promote healthier lifestyles and prevent costly future chronic disease.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sargent-Cox, Kerry & Butterworth, Peter & Anstey, Kaarin J., 2011. "The global financial crisis and psychological health in a sample of Australian older adults: A longitudinal study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(7), pages 1105-1112.
- Mossakowski, Krysia N., 2008. "Is the duration of poverty and unemployment a risk factor for heavy drinking?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(6), pages 947-955, September.
- Eliason, Marcus & Storrie, Donald, 2009. "Job loss is bad for your health - Swedish evidence on cause-specific hospitalization following involuntary job loss," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(8), pages 1396-1406, April.
- Roelfs, David J. & Shor, Eran & Davidson, Karina W. & Schwartz, Joseph E., 2011. "Losing life and livelihood: A systematic review and meta-analysis of unemployment and all-cause mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(6), pages 840-854, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:9:p:1692-1696. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.