An explorative, population-based study of female disability pensioners: the role of childhood conditions and alcohol abuse/dependence

Scand J Public Health. 2002;30(3):191-9. doi: 10.1080/14034940210133861.


Aims: This study investigates the association in women between conditions during childhood and adolescence and alcohol dependence or abuse in adulthood on the one hand, and disability pensions and long-term sickness absence on the other.

Methods: A stratified population-based sample of women in Göteborg was interviewed. For analyses in this study the following variables were selected from the interview protocol: childhood and adolescence, education, employment, social class, self-rated physical health and alcohol dependence or abuse (ADA), with diagnoses assessed according to DSM-III-R. Information on disability pension and sickness absence was obtained from the local Social Insurance Office.

Results: Unfavourable conditions during childhood and adolescence and school difficulties as well as early deviant behaviours predicted disability pension and long-term sickness absence in adulthood. For most risk factors ADA could explain only a minor part of the odds ratios found in crude and age-adjusted analyses.

Conclusion: It is concluded that conditions early in life are predictors in women of disability pension and long-term incapacity to work. There are similarities in the pattern of early risk factors for later alcohol dependence or abuse and for disability pension/long-term sickness absence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child Welfare*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Disabled Persons / classification
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Disability / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pensions*
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Women's Health*