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Social structures, agent personality and workers' mental health: A longitudinal analysis of the specific role of occupation and of workplace constraints-resources on psychological distress in the Canadian workforce

TitleSocial structures, agent personality and workers' mental health: A longitudinal analysis of the specific role of occupation and of workplace constraints-resources on psychological distress in the Canadian workforce
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMarchand, A., Demers A., and Durand P.
JournalHuman Relations
Volume59
Pages875 - 901
Keywordsaccidents, injuries and disabilities, innovation and performance, mental health and well-being, workplace organization
Abstract

This study examines the role of occupations and work conditions in psychological distress with a model of social action in which psychological distress results from stress created by the constraintsresources of structures of daily life, macrosocial structures, and agent personality. Using longitudinal data from 6611 workers nested in 471 occupations, multilevel regression analyses confirm the model. Occupations account for 1.6 percent of the variation. Social support and job insecurity contribute to distress, but greater decision authority increases distress. Skill utilization follows a J curve. Family structure, social network outside the workplace, and the personality of the agent do not moderate the influence of the workplace, with the sole exception of strained marital relations. The findings support the hypothesis that occupations and certain workplace constraintsresources contribute independently to psychological distress. Researchers in workplace mental health must expand their theoretical perspectives to avoid erroneous conclusions about the specific role of the workplace.

URLhttp://hum.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/59/7/875
Document URLhttp://hum.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/59/7/875