• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jepicomhInstructions for authorsCurrent TOCJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
J Epidemiol Community Health. Aug 1994; 48(4): 333–337.
PMCID: PMC1059979

Unemployment and ill health: understanding the relationship.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE--To review research relevant to understanding the psychological, social, and biological pathways by which unemployment may affect health risk; to consider the importance of four specific mechanisms; and to indicate some directions for future research. CRITERIA FOR INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION OF PUBLISHED STUDIES--Studies were chosen to illustrate the development of four major hypotheses regarding the relationship between unemployment and ill health, as well as the present state of knowledge. The review therefore includes some much-cited "classics" drawn from a long time span. Where recent reviews already exist relevant to individual mechanisms, these are referred to. Recent (since 1987) reports were sought by searching the BIDS data base. Particular effort was made to locate studies which enabled alternative hypotheses to be evaluated, and to point out where existing evidence is inconsistent or incomplete, indicating the need for further research. CONCLUSIONS--To understand the relationship between unemployment and ill health and mortality, four mechanisms need to be considered: the role of relative poverty; social isolation and loss of self esteem; health related behaviour (including that associated with membership of certain types of "subculture"); and the effect that a spell of unemployment has on subsequent employment patterns.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.0M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Banks MH, Jackson PR. Unemployment and risk of minor psychiatric disorder in young people: cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence. Psychol Med. 1982 Nov;12(4):789–798. [PubMed]
  • Daffos F, Forestier F, Grangeot-Keros L, Capella Pavlovsky M, Lebon P, Chartier M, Pillot J. Prenatal diagnosis of congenital rubella. Lancet. 1984 Jul 7;2(8393):1–3. [PubMed]
  • Moser KA, Fox AJ, Jones DR, Goldblatt PO. Unemployment and mortality: further evidence from the OPCS Longitudinal Study 1971-81. Lancet. 1986 Feb 15;1(8477):365–367. [PubMed]
  • Moser KA, Goldblatt PO, Fox AJ, Jones DR. Unemployment and mortality: comparison of the 1971 and 1981 longitudinal study census samples. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987 Jan 10;294(6564):86–90. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Iversen L, Andersen O, Andersen PK, Christoffersen K, Keiding N. Unemployment and mortality in Denmark, 1970-80. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987 Oct 10;295(6603):879–884. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Martikainen PT. Unemployment and mortality among Finnish men, 1981-5. BMJ. 1990 Sep 1;301(6749):407–411. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Claussen B, Bjørndal A, Hjort PF. Health and re-employment in a two year follow up of long term unemployed. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1993 Feb;47(1):14–18. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Jackson PR, Warr PB. Unemployment and psychological ill-health: the moderating role of duration and age. Psychol Med. 1984 Aug;14(3):605–614. [PubMed]
  • Rodgers B. Socio-economic status, employment and neurosis. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 1991 May;26(3):104–114. [PubMed]
  • Leeflang RL, Klein-Hesselink DJ, Spruit IP. Health effects of unemployment--II. Men and women. Soc Sci Med. 1992 Feb;34(4):351–363. [PubMed]
  • Leeflang RL, Klein-Hesselink DJ, Spruit IP. Health effects of unemployment--I. Long-term unemployed men in a rural and an urban setting. Soc Sci Med. 1992 Feb;34(4):341–350. [PubMed]
  • Mattiasson I, Lindgärde F, Nilsson JA, Theorell T. Threat of unemployment and cardiovascular risk factors: longitudinal study of quality of sleep and serum cholesterol concentrations in men threatened with redundancy. BMJ. 1990 Sep 8;301(6750):461–466. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Warr P, Jackson P. Factors influencing the psychological impact of prolonged unemployment and of re-employment. Psychol Med. 1985 Nov;15(4):795–807. [PubMed]
  • Hamilton VL, Hoffman WS, Broman CL, Rauma D. Unemployment, distress, and coping: a panel study of autoworkers. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1993 Aug;65(2):234–247. [PubMed]
  • Warr P, Jackson P. Adapting to the unemployed role: a longitudinal investigation. Soc Sci Med. 1987;25(11):1219–1224. [PubMed]
  • Isaksson K. Unemployment, mental health and the psychological functions of work in male welfare clients in Stockholm. Scand J Soc Med. 1989;17(2):165–169. [PubMed]
  • Lahelma E. Unemployment and mental well-being: elaboration of the relationship. Int J Health Serv. 1992;22(2):261–274. [PubMed]
  • Rudas N, Tondo L, Musio A, Masia M. Inoccupazione e depressione. Risultati di una valutazione psicometrica. Minerva Psichiatr. 1991 Oct-Dec;32(4):205–209. [PubMed]
  • Kaplan HB. Social psychology of the immune system: a conceptual framework and review of the literature. Soc Sci Med. 1991;33(8):909–923. [PubMed]
  • Beale N, Nethercott S. Job-loss and family morbidity: a study of a factory closure. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1985 Nov;35(280):510–514. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Beale N, Nethercott S. [The health of industrial employees four years after compulsory redundancy]. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1987 Sep;37(302):390–394. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cook DG, Cummins RO, Bartley MJ, Shaper AG. Health of unemployed middle-aged men in Great Britain. Lancet. 1982 Jun 5;1(8284):1290–1294. [PubMed]
  • Morris JK, Cook DG, Shaper AG. Non-employment and changes in smoking, drinking, and body weight. BMJ. 1992 Feb 29;304(6826):536–541. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Peck DF, Plant MA. Unemployment and illegal drug use: concordant evidence from a prospective study and national trends. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986 Oct 11;293(6552):929–932. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Morris JK, Cook DG. A critical review of the effect of factory closures on health. Br J Ind Med. 1991 Jan;48(1):1–8. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lee AJ, Crombie IK, Smith WC, Tunstall-Pedoe HD. Cigarette smoking and employment status. Soc Sci Med. 1991;33(11):1309–1312. [PubMed]
  • Power C, Estaugh V. Employment and drinking in early adulthood: a longitudinal perspective. Br J Addict. 1990 Apr;85(4):487–494. [PubMed]
  • Hammer T. Unemployment and use of drug and alcohol among young people: a longitudinal study in the general population. Br J Addict. 1992 Nov;87(11):1571–1581. [PubMed]
  • Platt S. Unemployment and suicidal behaviour: a review of the literature. Soc Sci Med. 1984;19(2):93–115. [PubMed]
  • Pritchard C. Is there a link between suicide in young men and unemployment? A comparison of the UK with other European Community Countries. Br J Psychiatry. 1992 Jun;160:750–756. [PubMed]
  • Platt S, Kreitman N. Trends in parasuicide and unemployment among men in Edinburgh, 1968-82. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984 Oct 20;289(6451):1029–1032. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Platt S, Kreitman N. Parasuicide and unemployment among men in Edinburgh 1968-82. Psychol Med. 1985 Feb;15(1):113–123. [PubMed]
  • Platt S. Parasuicide and unemployment. Br J Psychiatry. 1986 Oct;149:401–405. [PubMed]
  • Winefield AH, Tiggemann M, Goldney RD. Psychological concomitants of satisfactory employment and unemployment in young people. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 1988 Jul;23(3):149–157. [PubMed]
  • Graetz B. Health consequences of employment and unemployment: longitudinal evidence for young men and women. Soc Sci Med. 1993 Mar;36(6):715–724. [PubMed]
  • Robinson JC. Job hazards and job security. J Health Polit Policy Law. 1986 Spring;11(1):1–18. [PubMed]
  • Lajer M. Unemployment and hospitalization among bricklayers. Scand J Soc Med. 1982;10(1):3–10. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

    Your browsing activity is empty.

    Activity recording is turned off.

    Turn recording back on

    See more...