Do general mental ability and psychosocial work characteristics predict different aspects of health in middle-aged working women and men?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Psychosocial work conditions including high demands, lack of control and poor support have been linked to poor health. Yet, it is unclear whether individual factors such as general mental ability (GMA) are important. Objective: The present study set out to investigate how childhood mental ability and psychosocial work characteristics relate to positive and negative health indicators. Methods: Data on childhood GMA, occupational level, self-reports of demands, control and social support and negative health indicators (anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders) and positive health indicators (sense of coherence and self-rated health) in midlife came from a cohort of working women (n=271) and men (n=291). Hierarchical regression analyses, with and without controlling for occupational level, were used to examine associations between childhood GMA and self-reports of high demands, low control and poor social support and the four health indicators. Taking into consideration the gendered labor market and variations in health patterns between women and men, gender specific analyses were performed. Results: The analyses showed no associations between childhood GMA and the health indicators. Further, there were no significant interactions between GMA and the psychosocial work factors. Moreover, the overall impact of occupational level was low and controlling for occupational level did not change the overall findings. Conclusions: In a fairly homogeneous cohort of healthy and working middle-aged women and men, current psychosocial work conditions are more strongly linked to self-reports of health, than are childhood factors such as GMA.
ability, gender, health, psychosocial work conditions
Psychology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-52880OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-52880DiVA: diva2:389251
ProjectsIndividual Development and Adaptation
Cornelia Wulff received financial support from the Elisabeth and Herman Rhodin Memorial Foundation and the Lars Hierta Memorial Foundation.2011-01-192011-01-192011-01-19Bibliographically approved