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J Affect Disord. 2018 Aug 1;235:399-406. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.04.073. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

The association between unemployment and depression-Results from the population-based LIFE-adult-study.

Author information

1
Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health (ISAP), University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address: andrea.zuelke@medizin.uni-leipzig.de.
2
Department of Economic & Social Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Nordhausen, Nordhausen, Germany; Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health (ISAP), University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; LIFE - Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
3
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; University Hospital Leipzig, Day Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, Leipzig, Germany.
4
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.
5
Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
6
Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology (IMISE), University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
7
Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology (IMISE), University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany; LIFE - Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
8
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics (ILM), University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
9
Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health (ISAP), University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Unemployment is a risk factor for impaired mental health. Based on a large population-based sample, in this study we therefore sought to provide detailed information on the association between unemployment and depression including information on (i) differences between men and women, (ii) differences between different types of unemployment, and (iii) on the impact of material and social resources on the association.

METHODS:

We studied 4,842 participants (18-65 years) of the population-based LIFE-Adult-Study. Depression was assessed using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Employment status was divided into three groups: being employed, being unemployed receiving entitlement-based benefits, being unemployed receiving means-tested benefits. Multivariate logistic regression models were applied to assess the association between employment status and depression.

RESULTS:

Statistically significantly increased depression risk was solely found for unemployed persons receiving means-tested benefits. Adjusting for differences in sociodemographic factors, net personal income and risk of social isolation, comparable associations of being unemployed and receiving means-tested benefits with elevated depression risk were found for men (Odds Ratio/OR = 2.17, 95%-CI = 1.03-4.55) and women (OR = 1.98, 95%-CI:1.22-3.20).

LIMITATIONS:

No conclusions regarding causality can be drawn due to the cross-sectional study design. It was not possible to assess length of unemployment spells.

CONCLUSION:

Unemployed persons receiving means-tested benefits in Germany constitute a risk group for depression that needs specific attention in the health care and social security system. The negative impact of unemployment on depression risk cannot be explained solely by differences in material and social resources. Contrasting earlier results, women are equally affected as men.

KEYWORDS:

CES-D; Depression; Gender; Mental health; Population-based; Unemployment

PMID:
29677604
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2018.04.073
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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