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Soc Sci Med. 2004 Jul;59(1):29-38.

The impact of job strain on social isolation: a longitudinal analysis of French workers.

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  • 1Department de Medicine Sociale et Preventive, Cite Universite, Université Laval, Québec, Canada. michel.vezina@msp.ulaval.ca


Numerous studies have shown that work may have an impact on social identity and social functioning in the community. Since work organisation in our society has gone through some profound changes in the last few decades, it is important to study the effect of these new constraints on the social life of people and, thereby, on their health. Using data from a French longitudinal cohort study on work, health and ageing (ESTEV), this paper analyses the impact of job strain on social isolation, in a sample of 16,950 individuals who were working in 1990 and 1995. The results show that low-decision latitude was associated with a significantly higher level of social isolation in both men and women. When compared with low job strain, active work (high-psychological demand and high-decision latitude) and high job strain were associated among men with a significantly higher level of social isolation. This study shows that a change in psychosocial work conditions (demand and control) had an impact on social isolation and that this impact may be more significant in male workers than in female workers.

Copyright 2003 Elsevier Ltd.

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