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Mental health affects future employment as job loss affects mental health: findings from a longitudinal population study

Olesen, Sarah C; Butterworth, Peter; Leach, L. S.; Kelaher, Margaret; Pirkis, Jane

Description

BACKGROUND: Workforce participation is a key feature of public mental health and social inclusion policies across the globe, and often a therapeutic goal in treatment settings. Understanding the reciprocal relationship between participation and mental health has been limited by inadequate research methods. This is the first study to simultaneously examine and contrast the relative effects of unemployment on mental health and mental health on employment status in a single general population...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorOlesen, Sarah C
dc.contributor.authorButterworth, Peter
dc.contributor.authorLeach, L. S.
dc.contributor.authorKelaher, Margaret
dc.contributor.authorPirkis, Jane
dc.date.accessioned2015-03-04T01:54:32Z
dc.date.available2015-03-04T01:54:32Z
dc.identifier.issn1471-244X
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/12768
dc.description.abstractBACKGROUND: Workforce participation is a key feature of public mental health and social inclusion policies across the globe, and often a therapeutic goal in treatment settings. Understanding the reciprocal relationship between participation and mental health has been limited by inadequate research methods. This is the first study to simultaneously examine and contrast the relative effects of unemployment on mental health and mental health on employment status in a single general population sample. METHOD: Data were from working-age respondents (20 to 55 years at baseline) who completed nine waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey (N=7176). Cross-lagged path analyses were used to test the lagged and concurrent associations between unemployment and mental health over time, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: Mental health was shown to be both a consequence of and risk factor for unemployment. Thus, the poorer mental health observed amongst people who are not working is attributable to both the impact of unemployment and existing mental health problems. While the strength of these two effects was similar for women, the results for men suggested that the effect of unemployment on subsequent mental health was weaker than the effect of mental health on subsequent risk of unemployment. CONCLUSION: Disentangling the reciprocal links between mental health and workforce participation is central to the development and success of clinical goals and health and social policies that aim to promote either aspect. This study demonstrates that both effects are important and supports concurrent responses to prevent a cycle of disadvantage and entrenched social exclusion.
dc.description.sponsorshipSCO and LSL were funded by the Australian National University and fellowships from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. PB and JP were funded by fellowships from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. MK was funded by a fellowship from the Australian Research Council.
dc.format9 pages
dc.publisherBioMed Central
dc.rights© 2013 Olesen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
dc.sourceBMC Psychiatry
dc.subjectAdult
dc.subjectEmployment
dc.subjectFemale
dc.subjectHumans
dc.subjectMale
dc.subjectMental Disorders
dc.subjectMental Health
dc.subjectMiddle Aged
dc.subjectRisk Factors
dc.subjectUnemployment
dc.subjectWorkplace
dc.subjectInclusion
dc.subjectLongitudinal
dc.subjectSocial Policy
dc.titleMental health affects future employment as job loss affects mental health: findings from a longitudinal population study
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume13
dcterms.dateAccepted2013-05-07
dc.date.issued2013-05-24
local.identifier.absfor111714 - Mental Health
local.identifier.ariespublicationf5625xPUB3899
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationButterworth, Peter John, Centre for Research on Ageing Health & Wellbeing, CMBE/RSPH, The Australian National University
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/525410
local.identifier.essn1471-244X
local.bibliographicCitation.issue1
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage144
local.identifier.doi10.1186/1471-244X-13-144
dc.date.updated2015-12-11T08:31:41Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84878008519
local.identifier.thomsonID000320281000001
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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