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Am J Public Health. 2012 Jan;102(1):126-33. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300323. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

Household food insufficiency, financial strain, work-family spillover, and depressive symptoms in the working class: the Work, Family, and Health Network study.

Author information

1
Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA. cokechuk@hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We evaluated the association of household-level stressors with depressive symptoms among low-wage nursing home employees.

METHODS:

Data were collected in 2006 and 2007 from 452 multiethnic primary and nonprimary wage earners in 4 facilities in Massachusetts. We used logistic regression to estimate the association of depressive symptoms with household financial strain, food insufficiency, and work-family spillover (preoccupation with work-related concerns while at home and vice versa).

RESULTS:

Depressive symptoms were significantly associated with household financial strain (odds ratio [OR] = 1.82; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03, 3.21) and food insufficiency (OR = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.10, 4.18). Among primary earners, stratified analyses showed that food insufficiency was associated with depressive symptoms (OR = 3.60; 95% CI = 1.42, 9.11) but financial strain was not. Among nonprimary wage earners, depressive symptoms correlated with financial strain (OR = 3.65; 95% CI = 1.48, 9.01) and work-family spillover (OR = 3.22; 95% CI = 1.11, 9.35).

CONCLUSIONS:

Household financial strain, food insufficiency, and work-family spillover are pervasive problems for working populations, but associations vary by primary wage earner status. The prevalence of food insufficiency among full-time employees was striking and might have a detrimental influence on depressive symptoms and the health of working-class families.

PMID:
22095360
PMCID:
PMC3490565
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2011.300323
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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