Socioeconomic status and psychosocial work environment: results from a Danish national study

Scand J Public Health Suppl. 2002;59:41-8.


Objective: The aim of this study was to analyse the associations between socioeconomic status (SES ) and a number of psychosocial work environment factors with a potential impact on inequality in health.

Methods: A representative sample of 1,684 adult Danish employees filled in a standardized questionnaire or were interviewed by telephone. The response rate was 62%. The population was divided into four levels of SES (I to IV ). The psychosocial work environment was described with 19 scales.

Results: Quantitative, cognitive, and emotional job demands and a number of dimensions related to active and developmental work showed higher levels among high SES individuals. Job insecurity was highest among women with low SES. Dimensions describing interpersonal relations, social support, and leadership showed no clear associations with SES.

Conclusions: Prevention aiming at improving health and reducing inequality in health should focus on the dimensions of active and developmental work: influence at work, possibilities for development, degrees of freedom, and meaning of work. Furthermore, job insecurity should be reduced.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Denmark
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Problems*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires