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Financial hardship, mastery and social support: Explaining poor mental health amongst the inadequately employed using data from the HILDA survey

Crowe, Laura; Butterworth, Peter; Leach, Liana

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Objective: This study analysed data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey to examine the relationship between employment status and mental health, and the mediating effects of financial hardship, mastery and social support. In addition, the study sought to explore the effects of duration of unemployment on mental health. Methods: The primary analysis used three waves of data from the HILDA Survey with 4965 young adult respondents. Longitudinal...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorCrowe, Laura
dc.contributor.authorButterworth, Peter
dc.contributor.authorLeach, Liana
dc.date.accessioned2016-08-24T05:16:49Z
dc.date.available2016-08-24T05:16:49Z
dc.identifier.issn2352-8273
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/107295
dc.description.abstractObjective: This study analysed data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey to examine the relationship between employment status and mental health, and the mediating effects of financial hardship, mastery and social support. In addition, the study sought to explore the effects of duration of unemployment on mental health. Methods: The primary analysis used three waves of data from the HILDA Survey with 4965 young adult respondents. Longitudinal population-averaged logistic regression models assessed the association of employment status and mental health, including the contribution of mastery, financial hardship and social support in explaining this association between employment groups (unemployed vs. employed; under employed vs. employed). Sensitivity analyses utilised a fixed-effects approach and also considered the full-range of working-age respondents. Regression analysis was used to explore the effect of duration of unemployment on mental health. Results: Respondents’ who identified as unemployed or underemployed were at higher risk of poor mental health outcomes when compared to their employed counterparts. This association was ameliorated when accounting for mastery, financial hardship and social support for the unemployed, and was fully mediated for the underemployed. The fixed-effects models showed the transition to unemployment was associated with a decline in mental health and that mastery in particular contributed to that change. The same results were found with a broader age range of respondents. Finally, the relationship between duration of unemployment and mental health was not linear, with mental health showing marked decline across the first 9 weeks of unemployment. Conclusions and implications: Mastery, social support and financial hardship are important factors in understanding the association of poor mental health with both unemployment and underemployment. Furthermore, the results suggest that the most deleterious effects on mental health may occur in the first two months of unemployment before plateauing. In order to prevent deterioration in mental health, these findings suggest intervention should commence immediately following job loss.
dc.description.sponsorshipLC was supported by the ANU Scholarship, PB was supported by the Australian Research Council Future Fellowship #FT 130101444, LL was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowship #1035803.
dc.publisherElsevier
dc.rights© 2016 The authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
dc.sourceSSM - Population Health
dc.subjectUnemployment
dc.subjectDepression
dc.subjectFinancial hardship
dc.subjectEpidemiology Mastery
dc.titleFinancial hardship, mastery and social support: Explaining poor mental health amongst the inadequately employed using data from the HILDA survey
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume2
dc.date.issued2016
local.identifier.absfor110300 - CLINICAL SCIENCES
local.identifier.absfor111700 - PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES
local.identifier.ariespublicationU3488905xPUB19724
local.publisher.urlhttp://www.elsevier.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationCrowe, L., Research School of Psychology, The Australian National University
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/FT130101444
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/1035803
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage407
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage415
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.ssmph.2016.05.002
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84973303614
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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