A comparative review of psychosocial and occupational environment in native Swedes and immigrants

Scand J Soc Med. 1996 Dec;24(4):237-42. doi: 10.1177/140349489602400403.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate potential differences in psychosocial status and work environment between native Swedes and immigrants living in Gothenburg, Sweden. A number of psychiatric, occupational and socio-economic factors were analysed by questionnaire in 1040 men born in 1944 out of 1302 selected. The immigrants (n = 182) who participated in the study used psychopharmacological drugs more extensively than native Swedes. They were more dissatisfied, had traits of depression, frequent sleeping problems, dyspepsia and headaches compared with the native Swedes. The immigrants were more often out of work, and those who were gainfully employed were more dissatisfied with their current work and their colleagues, had a lower influence on the work situation, felt a lower degree of work demands, more seldom attempted to alter their work situation when having problems, and had a more frequent desire to change their type of work. Furthermore, immigrants more often than Swedes were living under poor housing standards, indicating a low socio-economic status. They felt a low degree of time pressure and had more often experienced a serious life event compared to native Swedes. It was concluded that immigrants were more affected by psychiatric, occupational and socio-economic disabilities and handicaps than native Swedes, indicating that immigrants are a vulnerable group in Swedish society.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Employment*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Sweden / epidemiology