Occupational gender composition and mild to severe depression in a Swedish cohort: The impact of psychosocial work factors

Scand J Public Health. 2018 May;46(3):425-432. doi: 10.1177/1403494817745736. Epub 2017 Dec 5.

Abstract

Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate associations between occupational gender composition, psychosocial work factors and mild to severe depression in Swedish women and men with various educational backgrounds.

Methods: The study included 5560 participants from two waves of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health, an approximately representative sample of the Swedish working population. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals of mild to severe depression in 2014 were estimated for five strata of occupational gender composition with >20-40%, >40-60%, >60-80% and >80-100% women, using 0-20% women as the reference. Analyses were stratified by gender and education. Job strain, organisational injustice, poor social support and effort-reward imbalance in 2012 were added in separate models, and changes in OR of mild to severe depression for strata of occupational gender composition were evaluated.

Results: Among women, the odds of mild to severe depression did not vary by occupational gender composition. Among men with low to intermediate education, the odds were higher in the stratum with >80-100% women, and among men with high education, the odds were higher in strata with >20-40% and >60-80% women. Psychosocial work factors affected the odds ratios of mild to severe depression, but most of the variation remained unexplained.

Conclusions: Odds of mild to severe depression appeared to vary by occupational gender composition among Swedish men but not women. This variation seemed only to a small extent to be explained by psychosocial work factors.

Keywords: Occupational gender composition; depression; nationally representative sample; prospective study; psychosocial work factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Sex Distribution*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Young Adult