Occupying multiple stigmatized identities: Smoking and unemployment stigmas among the unemployed.
ABSTRACT: Stigma - which involves stereotyping, discrimination, and status loss - is a central driver of morbidity and mortality. Given the de-normalization of smoking and the status loss of unemployment, unemployed individuals who smoke may occupy multiple stigmatized identities. As such, this study examined aspects and correlates of smoking and unemployment stigmas among unemployed job-seekers who smoke. Adult job-seekers who smoke tobacco (N = 360) were recruited at government-run employment development departments (EDDs) in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015-2018. Participants completed measures of smoking and unemployment stigma and self-reported their demographic, tobacco use, and physical and mental health characteristics. Smoking and unemployment stigmas were moderately positively correlated, and the sample reported higher unemployment stigma than smoking stigma. A sample majority endorsed at least one element of smoking and unemployment stigmas; most common for both was self-disappointment. Two sets of linear regression analyses using a general-to-specific modeling procedure were run to identify significant correlates of smoking stigma and unemployment stigma. Both stigmas were significantly associated with depressive symptoms and with preparing to quit smoking. Participants in poorer health and those with stable housing endorsed greater smoking stigma, while unemployment stigma was endorsed more among White individuals and those with past-year e-cigarette use. The findings highlight the need to examine multiply occupied stigmas as a social determinant of population health.
Project description:To determine a) proportions of behavior related health risk factors among job-seekers and b) to what extend these are related to self-rated health.Over 12 months, job-seekers were recruited at three job-agencies in northeastern Germany. Among all individuals eligible for study inclusion, 7,906 (79.8%) provided information on smoking, risky drinking, overweight/obesity (body mass index), fruit and vegetable intake, physical inactivity, illicit drug use, and self-rated health. Proportions and 95% confidence intervals stratified by gender, age and duration of unemployment were calculated. Multivariate logistic regression analyses predicting self-rated health were conducted.The proportions of each health-risk factor were high, and 52.4% of the sample (53.4% male, 33.5 years mean age) had 3 or more health risk factors. Mostly, the proportions were particularly high among men and long-term unemployed individuals; e.g. 84.8% of the 18-24 year old long-term unemployed men were current smokers. Proportions of substance use related health risk factors were highest among the 18-24 year olds (e.g. risky drinking 28.7%), and proportions of health risk factors related to nutrition and physical inactivity were highest among the 40-64 year olds (e.g. overweight/obesity 65.4%). Depending on gender, all health risk factors and having 3 or more health risk factors were associated with lower self-rated health; odd ratios ranged between 1.2 for smoking (95% CI: 1.0-1.3) and 1.7 for overweight and physical inactivity (95% CI: 1.5-1.9).Prevention efforts to reduce health risk factors and to increase health among job-seekers are needed, and job agencies appear a feasible setting for their implementation.
Project description:Labour market policy (LMP) and its implementation have undergone rapid change internationally in the last three decades with a continued trend towards active LMP. In Ireland however, this shift has been more recent with ongoing reforms since 2012 and a concomitant move toward active labour market 'work-first' policy design (i.e. whereby unemployed people are compulsorily required to work in return for their social welfare benefits). Labour market policies vary from those that require this compulsory approach to those which enable the unemployed to move towards sustainable quality work in the labour market through upskilling (human capital approach). Despite this, however, long-term unemployment-a major cause of poverty and social exclusion-remains high, while current employment support approaches aimed at sustainable re-employment are, arguably, unevaluated and under examined. This study examines the effectiveness of a new high support career guidance intervention in terms of its impact on aspects of wellbeing, perceived employability and enhancing career sustainability.The study involves a single-centre randomised, controlled, partially blinded trial. A total of 140 long-term unemployed job-seekers from a disadvantaged urban area will be randomly assigned to two groups: (1) an intervention group; and (2) a 'service as usual' group. Each group will be followed up immediately post intervention and six months later. The primary outcome is wellbeing at post intervention and at six-month follow-up. The secondary outcome is perceived employability, which includes a number of different facets including self-esteem, hopefulness, resilience and career self-efficacy.The study aims to assess the changes in, for example, psychological wellbeing, career efficacy and hopefulness, that occur as a result of participation in a high support intervention vs routinely available support. The results will help to inform policy and practice by indicating whether a therapeutic approach to job-seeking support is more effective for long-term unemployed job-seekers than routinely available (and less therapeutic) support. The findings will also be important in understanding what works and for whom with regard to potentially undoing the negative psychological impacts of unemployment, building psychological capital and employability within the individual, and developing career trajectories leading to more sustainable employment.ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN16801028 . Registered on 9 February 2016.
Project description:Unemployed benefit recipients are stigmatized and generally perceived negatively in terms of their personality characteristics and employability. The COVID19 economic shock led to rapid public policy responses across the globe to lessen the impact of mass unemployment, potentially shifting community perceptions of individuals who are out of work and rely on government income support. We used a repeated cross-sections design to study change in stigma tied to unemployment and benefit receipt in a pre-existing pre-COVID19 sample (n = 260) and a sample collected during COVID19 pandemic (n = 670) by using a vignette-based experiment. Participants rated attributes of characters who were described as being employed, working poor, unemployed or receiving unemployment benefits. The results show that compared to employed characters, unemployed characters were rated substantially less favorably at both time points on their employability and personality traits. The difference in perceptions of the employed and unemployed was, however, attenuated during COVID19 with benefit recipients perceived as more employable and more Conscientious than pre-pandemic. These results add to knowledge about the determinants of welfare stigma highlighting the impact of the global economic and health crisis on perception of others.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Socioeconomic status (SES) is a major determinant of tobacco use but little is known whether SES affects nicotine exposure and the degree of nicotine dependence. METHODS:The Pennsylvania Adult Smoking Study is a cross-sectional study of smoke exposure and nicotine dependence among adults conducted in central Pennsylvania between June 2012 and April 2014. The study included several measures of SES, including assessments of education and household income, as well as occupation, home ownership, health insurance, household density and savings accounts. Measurements included saliva for the nicotine metabolites cotinine (COT), 3-'hydroxycotinine (3HC) and total metabolites (COT +3HC). Puffing behavior was determined using portable smoking topography devices. RESULTS:The income levels of lighter smokers (< 20 cigarettes per day) was $10,000 more than heavier smokers. Higher Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence scores were associated with lower income and job status, scores ranged from 5.4 in unemployed, 4.4 in blue-collar, and 3.8 in white-collar workers. In principal components analysis used to derive SES indicators, household income, number in household, and type of dwelling were the major SES correlates of the primary component. Job category was the major correlate of the second component. Lower SES predicted significantly higher adjusted total nicotine metabolite levels in the unemployed group. Job category was significantly associated with total daily puffs, with the highest level in the unemployed, followed by blue-collar workers, after adjustment for income. CONCLUSIONS:Among smokers, there was a relationship between lower SES and increased nicotine dependence, cigarettes per day and nicotine exposure, which varied by job type.
Project description:We propose a model with involuntary unemployment, incomplete markets, and nominal rigidity, in which the effects of government spending are state-dependent. An increase in government purchases raises aggregate demand, tightens the labor market and reduces unemployment. This in turn lowers unemployment risk and thus precautionary saving, leading to a larger response of private consumption than in a model with perfect insurance. The output multiplier is further amplified through a composition effect, as the fraction of high-consumption households in total population increases in response to the spending shock. These features, along with the matching frictions in the labor market, generate significantly larger multipliers in recessions than in expansions. As the pool of job seekers is larger during downturns than during expansions, the concavity of the job-finding probability with respect to market tightness implies that an increase in government spending reduces unemployment risk more in the former case than in the latter, giving rise to countercyclical multipliers.
Project description:Background:Epidemiologic evidence highlights the harmful consequences of unemployment on health and well-being. This emphasizes the need to design low-cost interventions to prevent the adverse mental health effects of unemployment. The main aim of this study was to create expert-consensus regarding development and implementation of a brief, sustainable, and effective intervention program for promoting mental health among unemployed. Methods:The Delphi technique entailed a selected panel of 75 experts from various relevant professional backgrounds. Panel members were asked to state their level of agreement (5-point Likert scale) regarding (a) required characteristics for an effective mental health intervention for unemployed people and (b) key variables for assessing the effectiveness of that intervention. Consensus was obtained throughout two rounds of data collection through e-mail contact, with structured questionnaires. Items of the questionnaire were based on literature reviews about community-based interventions for unemployed individuals. Results:Overall, 46 experts collaborated with the Delphi process (final participation rate: 61.3%). Based on a review of the literature, 185 items were identified and grouped into two broad categories (set of characteristics of the intervention and set of variables for effectiveness assessment), aggregating a total of 11 dimensions. The two Delphi rounds resulted in the selection of 35 characteristic items for the intervention program and 54 variables for its effectiveness assessment. Brief group interventions were considered to be effective and sustainable for mental health promotion in unemployment conditions if targeting mental health literacy, training interpersonal skills, and job-search skills. Conclusion:As agreed by the panel of experts, a brief, sustainable and effective intervention can be developed and implemented by accounting for unemployed capacity-building for mental health self-care and adequate job-searching attitudes and skills. These results should be further implemented in community and multisector-based standardized interventions, targeting mental health among unemployed people, ensuring adequate conditions for its effectiveness assessment.
Project description:Overweight and obesity have been associated with unemployment but less is known about changes in weight associated with changes in employment. We examined weight changes associated with job-loss, retirement and maintaining employment in two samples of working adults in the United Kingdom. This was a prospective study of 7201 adults in the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk study (aged 39-76 years) and 4539 adults in the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) who were followed up over 43 months and 26 months, respectively. In both samples, changes in measured (EPIC) and self-reported (BHPS) weight were computed for each participant and assessed in relation to three employment transitions: maintaining paid employment, retirement and job-loss. Regression models adjusted for potential confounders. Further analyses evaluated the contribution of diet, physical activity and smoking to weight gain. In EPIC-Norfolk, weight change differed across the three employment transitions for women but not men. The mean (95% CI) annualised change in weight for women who became unemployed over the follow-up period was 0.70 (0.55, 0.85) kg/y while those who maintained employment gained 0.49 (0.43, 0.55) kg/y (P = 0.007). Accounting for changes in smoking, diet and physical activity did not substantially alter the difference in weight gain among groups. In BHPS, job-loss was associated with weight gain of 1.56 (0.89, 2.23) kg/y, while those who maintained employment 0.60 (0.53, 0.68) kg/y (P < 0.001). In both samples, weight changes associated with retirement were similar to those staying in work. In BHPS, job-loss was also associated with significant declines in self-reported well-being and increases in sleep-loss. Two UK-based samples of working adults reveal strong associations between job-loss and excess weight gain. The mediating behaviours are so far unclear but psychosocial mechanisms and sleep-loss may contribute to the excess weight gain among individuals who become unemployed.
Project description:Unmet medical need (UMN) had been declining steadily across Europe until the 2008 Recession, a period characterized by rising unemployment. We examined whether becoming unemployed increased the risk of UMN during the Great Recession and whether the extent of out-of-pocket payments (OOP) for health care and income replacement for the unemployed (IRU) moderated this relationship.We used the European Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) to construct a pseudo-panel (n?=?135 529) across 25 countries to estimate the relationship between unemployment and UMN. We estimated linear probability models, using a baseline of employed people with no UMN, to test whether this relationship is mediated by financial hardship and moderated by levels of OOP and IRU.Job loss increased the risk of UMN [??=?0.027, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.022-0.033] and financial hardship exacerbated this effect. Fewer people experiencing job loss lost access to health care in countries where OOPs were low or in countries where IRU is high. The results are robust to different model specifications.Unemployment does not necessarily compromise access to health care. Rather, access is jeopardized by diminishing financial resources that accompany job loss. Lower OOPs or higher IRU protect against loss of access, but they cannot guarantee it. Policy solutions should secure financial protection for the unemployed so that resources do not have to be diverted from health.
Project description:This study examined whether economic changes related to the 2008-2009 Recession were associated with employment status and job quality indicators among older workers in Europe and Israel. Data were derived from 4917 respondents (16,090 observations both before and after the recession) from 13 countries who participated in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. Annual data on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, life expectancy, and quarterly unemployment rates were assigned to employment assessments from 2004 to 2013. Using difference-in-differences models, we assessed the recession's implications on individual employment outcomes, while isolating cyclical variation within countries and individual changes over time. Among older workers, decreases in GDP were associated with an increase in the likelihood of being unemployed and a decrease in the likelihood of being retired. An increasing country-level unemployment rate had a significant effect on aspects of job quality: lower prospects for job advancement, lower job security, and higher job satisfaction. Economic recessions are thus negatively associated with employment outcomes for older workers. However, malleable policy-related factors such as longer tenure and improved general health can limit the negative employment and job quality outcomes following a recession.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Unemployment is associated with a high prevalence of risky health behaviors. Mortality increases with the number of co-occurring risky behaviors but whether these behaviors co-occur with a greater than expected frequency (clustering) among unemployed people is not known. METHODS:Differences according to unemployment status in co-occurrence and clustering of smoking, alcohol abuse, low leisure-time physical activity and unhealthy diet (marked by low fruit and vegetable intake) were assessed in 65,630 salaried workers, aged 18 to 65, who were participants in Constances, a French population-based cohort. Among them, 4573 (7.0%) were unemployed without (n = 3160, 4.8%) or with (n = 1413, 2.1%) past experience of unemployment. RESULTS:Compared to the employed, unemployed participants without or with past experience of unemployment were similarly overexposed to each risky behavior (sex and age adjusted odds-ratios ranging from 1.38 to 2.19) except for low physical activity, resulting in higher rates of co-occurrence of two, three and four behaviors (relative risk ratios, RRR 1.20 to 3.74). Association between behavior co-occurrence and unemployment did not vary across gender, partnership status or income category. Risky behavior clustering, i.e., higher than expected co-occurrence rates based on the prevalence of each behavior, was similar across unemployment status. The same observations can be made in employed participants with past experience of unemployment, although overexposure to risky behaviors (ORs 1.15 to 1.38) and increased rates of co-occurrence (ORs 1.19 to 1.58) were not as pronounced as in the unemployed. CONCLUSIONS:Co-occurrence of risky behaviors in currently and/or formerly unemployed workers is not worsened by behavior clustering. Engagement in each of these behaviors should be considered an engagement in distinct social practices, with consequences for preventive policies.