Do job characteristics mediate the relationship between SES and health? Evidence from sibling models

Jennie E. Brand, John Robert Warren, Pascale Carayon, Peter Hoonakker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

We focus on physical and psychosocial job characteristics as mediators in the link between education, earnings, and occupational standing and self-assessed overall health, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health problems, and depression. From sociological research on the stratification of employment outcomes, we expect that people with less education also have lower earnings and lower levels of occupational standing, and have more physically and psychosocially demanding jobs. From the occupational stress, ergonomics, and job design literatures, we expect that physically and cognitively demanding jobs and jobs with varying amounts of control are associated with health outcomes. Consequently, we expect to find that job characteristics play an important mediating role in associations between SES and health. To address these hypotheses, we use data on sibling pairs from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. We find support for our hypotheses, although the extent to which job characteristics mediate SES-health relationships varies across health outcomes and by gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-253
Number of pages32
JournalSocial Science Research
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

Keywords

  • Education
  • Health disparities
  • Job characteristics
  • SES
  • Sibling resemblance models
  • Work

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