Unemployment and mental health among white-collar workers - question of work involvement and financial situation?

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We examine whether it is a psychosocial or an economic need for employment that affects mental health among the unemployed. The relevance of both aspects are examined, concentrating on two measures of each dimension. Two perspectives of work involvement - the degree of connection to working life and the perceived employment commitment and two perspectives on financial situation economic security and perceived economic concern have been analysed, using empirical data collected by means of a cross-sectional survey of 1297 unemployed white-collar workers from the public sector in Sweden. The degree of connection to working life was not significantly linked to the mental health of the unemployed, although there was a strong link between the perceived employment commitment and mental health among this group. The stronger the perceived employment commitment, the poorer the state of the person's mental health. Perceived economic concern was also tightly linked to mental health: the greater the economic concern, the poorer the mental health. Economic security also played - at least, partly - a moderate but significant role. The results provide strong support for the existence of both a psychosocial need and an economic need for employment. The analysis demonstrates that it is the perceived assessed measures of work involvement and financial situation that are linked to mental health.


  • U Rantakeisu
  • Leif Roland Jönsson
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Socialt arbete


Sidor (från-till)31-41
TidskriftInternational Journal of Social Welfare
StatusPublished - 2003
Peer review utfördJa