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BMC Public Health

, 14:849

Environmental health


BackgroundWhile robust evidence on associations of stressful work with health exists, less research is available on determinants of stressful work in terms of respondents- characteristics proximal factors and in terms of national labour market policies distal factors. In this article we analyse proximal childhood circumstances and labour market disadvantage and distal determinants national compensation and integration policies of stressful work in a comprehensive framework.

MethodsWe use data from the third wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe SHARE, with retrospective information on individual life courses collected among 11181 retired men and women in 13 European countries 2008–2009. To test our hypotheses we estimate multilevel regression models.

ResultsResults show that stressful work is related to disadvantaged circumstances during childhood. To some extent this association is explained by labour market disadvantage during adulthood. Additionally, well developed labour market integration policies are related to lower overall levels of stressful work at national level.

ConclusionThis analysis provides first evidence of important determinants of stressful work, both in terms of pre-employment conditions childhood circumstances and in terms of contextual macro-social policies.

AbbreviationsAICAkaike information criterion

BICBayesian information criterion

CAPIComputer assisted personal interview

ICCIntra-class correlation

ISCOInternational standard classification of occupations

OECDOrganisation for economic co-operation and development

SHARESurvey of health ageing and retirement in Europe.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-14-849 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Morten Wahrendorf - Johannes Siegrist


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