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Temp Work Ups Mental Health Risk

In today’s economy many individuals are working part-time or contract employment as full-time positions have been eliminated. While these settings help pay the bills, new research suggests the temporary positions may place people at risk for mental health problems.

“Temporary workers—those lacking long-term, stable employment—seem to be susceptible to declining mental health for as long as they continue to work in these so-called ‘disposable’ or ‘second class’ jobs,” said Amélie Quesnel-Vallée, a medical sociologist at McGill University and the study’s primary investigator.

“This research shows that temporary work strains employee mental health, as contingent workers report more symptoms of depression and psychological distress than similarly employed workers who are not in these fixed-term positions.”

As of 2005, about 4.1 percent of the U.S. workforce—5.7 million American workers—held a position they believed to be temporary, according to the most recent data available from the Current Population Survey.

“These findings should be of particular interest for employers as they consider the long-term or global health impact of relying on a contingent workforce to meet current or future employment needs,” said Quesnel-Vallée.

The research team analyzed a sample of longitudinal records collected biennially between 1992 and 2002 from the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). The NLSY79 is a survey of men and women born between 1957 and 1964 who were interviewed annually from 1979 to 1994, and biennially thereafter.

The research team considered respondents’ contingent (temporary) work status, depressive symptoms scores, poverty level and educational attainment. Results are considered representative of the general middle-aged U.S. working population.

Quesnel-Vallée co-authored the study with researchers Suzanne DeHaney and Antonio Ciampi, both of McGill University.

Source: American Sociological Association

Temp Work Ups Mental Health Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Temp Work Ups Mental Health Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/08/11/temp-work-ups-mental-health-risk/7672.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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