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Health Inequalities among Workers with a Foreign Background in Sweden: Do Working Conditions Matter?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 10, no 7, 2871-2887 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Employment and working conditions are key social determinants of health, yet current information is lacking regarding relationships between foreign background status, working conditions and health among workers in Sweden. This study utilized cross-sectional data from the 2010 Swedish Level of Living Survey (LNU) and the Level of Living Survey for Foreign Born Persons and their Children (LNU-UFB) to assess whether or not health inequalities exist between native Swedish and foreign background workers and if exposure to adverse psychosocial and physical working conditions contributes to the risk for poor health among foreign background workers. A sub-sample of 4,021 employed individuals aged 18–65 was analyzed using logistic regression. Eastern European, Latin American and Other Non-Western workers had an increased risk of both poor self-rated health and mental distress compared to native Swedish workers. Exposure to adverse working conditions only minimally influenced the risk of poor health. Further research should examine workers who are less integrated or who have less secure labor market attachments and also investigate how additional working conditions may influence associations between health and foreign background status.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 10, no 7, 2871-2887 p.
Keyword [en]
health inequalities, working conditions, foreign background populations, social determinants of health, Sweden
National Category
Sociology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92858DOI: 10.3390/ijerph10072871ISI: 000322182400019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-92858DiVA: diva2:642671
Available from: 2013-08-22 Created: 2013-08-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Between Two Worlds: Studies of migration, work, and health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Between Two Worlds: Studies of migration, work, and health
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to investigate the extent to which work-related factors contribute to the health inequalities often observed between foreign-origin and native-origin persons in Sweden. Four empirical studies using survey data and population-based registers assessed the health impact of different labor market adversities among groups of foreign-origin persons who were both in and outside the labor market relative to native-origin Swedes.

Studies I and II examined associations between different measures of working life quality, including adverse psychosocial and physical working conditions and educational mismatch, and self-reported health among the employed. Adverse psychosocial and physical working conditions minimally contributed to the excess risk of poor health found among workers from low- and middle-income countries. Over-education had a stronger association with increased risk of poor health, most notably among foreign-born workers from countries outside of Western Europe. Under-educated women from these countries also demonstrated an elevated risk of poor health.  There was no association between educational mismatch and poor health among native-born workers. 

Studies III and IV focused on the health implications of labor market exclusion, and examined relationships between employment status and risk of all-cause mortality and suicide. The majority of foreign-origin groups that experienced unemployment showed an elevated risk of both mortality and suicide. The magnitude of excess risk varied by generational status and region of origin. Variations in patterns of suicide risk were also evident among migrants by age at arrival and duration of residence. Yet within many foreign-origin groups, health advantages were observed among the employed.

The health of migrants is affected by the confluence of several different pre- and post-migration factors.  The extent to which health inequalities are found among persons of foreign-origin in Sweden is influenced by the degree to which they experience labor market adversities, as well as differential vulnerability to the negative effects of these adversities across foreign-origin groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockhom University, 2017. 93 p.
Series
Health Equity Studies, ISSN 1651-5390 ; 21
Keyword
Sweden, foreign-origin, health, working conditions, educational mismatch, unemployment
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141188 (URN)978-91-7649-671-8 (ISBN)978-91-7649-672-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-05-19, Aula Svea, Socialhögskolan, Sveavägen 160, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-04-26 Created: 2017-04-04 Last updated: 2017-04-21Bibliographically approved

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Dunlavy, Andrea C.Rostila, Mikael
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