Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Impact of a bad job on mental health as harmful as no job at all

Date:
March 15, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
The impact on mental health of a badly paid, poorly supported, or short term job can be as harmful as no job at all, new research indicates.

The impact on mental health of a badly paid, poorly supported, or short term job can be as harmful as no job at all, indicates research published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Related Articles


Because being in work is associated with better mental health than unemployment, government policies have tended to focus on the risks posed by joblessness, without necessarily considering the impact the quality of a job may have, say the authors.

They base their findings on seven waves of data from more than 7000 people of working age, drawn from a representative national household survey conducted every year in Australia (HILDA).

Respondents' mental health was assessed using a validated inventory (MHI). And they were asked about their employment status.

If in work, the "psychosocial" quality of their job was graded according to measures relating to demands and complexity; level of control; and perceived job security. Respondents were also asked if they felt they received a fair wage for the work they did.

Not unexpectedly, those who were unemployed had poorer mental health, overall, than those in work, the results showed.

There is some evidence to show that employment is associated with better physical and mental health, and the mental health of those out of work tends to improve when they find a job, say the authors.

But after taking account of a range of factors with the potential to influence the results, such as educational attainment and marital status, the mental health of those who were jobless was comparable to, or often better than, that of people in work, but in poor quality jobs.

Those in the poorest quality jobs experienced the sharpest decline in mental health over time. There was a direct linear association between the number of unfavourable working conditions experienced and mental health, with each additional adverse condition lowering the mental health score.

And the health benefits of finding a job after a period of worklessness depended on the quality of the post, the findings showed. Job quality predicted mental health.

Getting a high quality job after being unemployed improved mental health by an average of 3 points, but getting a poor quality job was more detrimental to mental health than remaining unemployed, showing up as a loss of 5.6 points.

Paid work confers several benefits, including a defined social role and purpose, friendships, and structured time. But jobs which afford little control, are very demanding, and provide little support and reward, are not good for health, say the authors.

"Work first policies are based on the notion that any job is better than none as work promotes economic as well as personal wellbeing," comment the authors. "Psychosocial job quality is a pivotal factor that needs to be considered in the design and delivery of employment and welfare policy," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P Butterworth, L S Leach, L Strazdins, S C Olesen, B Rodgers, D H Broom. The psychosocial quality of work determines whether employment has benefits for mental health: results from a longitudinal national household panel survey. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2011; DOI: 10.1136/oem.2010.059030

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Impact of a bad job on mental health as harmful as no job at all." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314184714.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, March 15). Impact of a bad job on mental health as harmful as no job at all. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314184714.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Impact of a bad job on mental health as harmful as no job at all." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314184714.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) — In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled Japan could no longer engage in whaling in the Antarctic, but Japan has plans to return this year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lights out for Earth Hour

Lights out for Earth Hour

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 29, 2015) — Landmarks in cities around the globe turn off their lights to mark Earth Hour. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins