The macroeconomic context of job stress

J Health Soc Behav. 1994 Sep;35(3):266-82.


Using data from the 1973-1977 Quality of Employment Panel Study, we test a model that conceptually links research on macroeconomic causes of stress with research on job structure causes of stress among employed workers. Results from LISREL 7 (Jöreskog and Sörbom 1989) indicate that, while both macroeconomic and job structure variables have significant cross-sectional and longitudinal effects on stress, the macroeconomic effects are almost entirely indirect in their effect on job structures. In particular, higher occupational unemployment rates increased stress and lowered life satisfaction indirectly through reduced decision latitude and increased job demands. Overall, results suggest that macroeconomic changes, such as recessions, can affect individual stress because they lead to changes in routine job structures that represent increased and continued exposure to stressful conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Causality
  • Economics*
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology