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New paper published in BMC Public Health

New paper published in BMC Public Health

06.04.2018
Employment stability and mental health in Spain: towards understanding the influence of gender and partner/marital status stability and mental health in Spain: towards understanding the influence of gender and partner/marital status, Imma Cortés-Franch, Vicenta Escribà- Agüir, Joan Benach and Lucía Artazcoz. 
 
Published in BMC Public Health 2018. See the paper
 
Background:
The growing demand for labour flexibility has resulted in decreasing employment stability that could
be associated with poor mental health status. Few studies have analysed the whole of the work force in
considering this association since research on flexible forms of employment traditionally analyses employed and
unemployed people separately. The gender division of work, and family characteristics related to employment
situation, could modify its association with mental wellbeing. The objective of the study was to examine the
relationship between a continuum of employment stability and mental health taking into account gender and
partner/marital status.
 
Methods:
We selected 6859 men and 5106 women currently salaried or unemployed from the 2006 Spanish
National Health Survey. Employment stability was measured through a continuum from the highest stability among
employed to lowest probability of finding a stable job among the long-term unemployed. Mental health was
measured with the 12-item version of the General Health Questionnaire. Logistic regression models were fitted for
each combination of partner/marital status and gender.
 
Results:
In all groups except among married women employment stability was related to poor mental health and
a gradient between a continuum of employment stability and mental health status was found. For example,
compared with permanent civil servants, married men with temporary contract showed an aOR = 1.58 (95%CI = 1.
062.35), those working without a contract aOR = 2.15 (95%CI = 1.01-4.57) and aOR = 3.73 (95%CI = 2.43–5.74) and
aOR = 5.35 (95%CI = 2.71–10.56) among unemployed of up to two years and more than two years, respectively.
Among married and cohabiting people, the associations were stronger among men. Poor mental health status was
related to poor employment stability among cohabiting women but not among married ones. The strongest
association was observed among separated or divorced people.
 
Conclusions:
There is a rise in poor mental health as the distance from stable employment grows. This result
differs according to the interaction with gender and partner/marital status. In Spain this relationship seems to
follow a pattern related to the gender division of work in married people but not in other partner/marital situations.
Family and socioeconomic context can contribute to explain previous mixed results. Recommendations for research
and for action are given.
 
Keywords:
Employment stability, Unemployment, Temporary contract, Mental health, Gender roles, Marital status, Spain

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