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Sense of coherence and ill health among the unemployed and re-employed after closure of an assembly plant

Journal article
Authors Jan Johansson Hanse
Tomas Engström
Published in Work & Stress
Volume 13
Issue 3
Pages 204-222
ISSN 0267-8373
Publication year 1999
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 204-222
Language en
Keywords Unemployment, Sense of coherence, Health, Structural equation modeling
Subject categories Public health science, Community medicine, Occupational medicine, Applied Psychology

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between employment status, ill health and sense of coherence(SOC). A cross-sectional sample of the former workers at the closed down Volvo Kalmar plant in Sweden was used. A questionnaire was mailed to all identified subjects 2 years after the closure of the plant. Responses were obtained from 344 persons, of whom 173were re-employed and 92were unemployed. They answered the questionnaire anonymously on background variables, SOC and ill health (physical and psychological symptoms). A notable diVerencewas found between the re-employed and unemployed, where the unemployed reported symptoms significantly more often as well as a significantly weaker SOC. A main finding in a four cell model indicated that unemployment had a rather low impact on symptoms in the presence of a strong SOC. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was performed with simultaneous analysis of the unemployed and reemployed. The SEM analysis indicated that SOC seemed to have a greater impact on psychological symptoms among unemployed compared with re-employed persons. However, it should be noted that the present study does not allow for the determination of cause-effect relationships.

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