Self-reported job insecurity and health in the Whitehall II study: potential explanations of the relationship

Soc Sci Med. 2005 Apr;60(7):1593-602. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.08.006.


This paper examines the potential of demographic, personal, material and behavioural characteristics, other psychosocial features of the work environment and job satisfaction to explain associations between self-reported job insecurity and health in a longitudinal study of British white-collar civil servants. Strong associations were found between self-reported job insecurity and both poor self-rated health and minor psychiatric morbidity. After adjustment for age, employment grade and health during a prior phase of secure employment, pessimism, heightened vigilance, primary deprivation, financial security, social support and job satisfaction explained 68% of the association between job insecurity and self-rated health in women, and 36% in men. With the addition of job control, these factors explained 60% of the association between job insecurity and minor psychiatric morbidity, and just over 80% of the association with depression in both sexes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Female
  • Government Agencies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Workplace / psychology*