Youth unemployment and functional somatic symptoms in adulthood: results from the Northern Swedish cohort
2015 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 25, no 5, 796-800 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: Little is known about the possible long-term health consequences of youth unemployment. Research indicates that unemployment may lead to socioeconomic downward mobility and mental health problems, but we still lack knowledge of the long-term health consequences of youth unemployment. This article examines the potential long-term association between youth unemployment and functional somatic symptoms in adulthood.
Methods: The ‘Northern Swedish cohort’ was used with data from five data collections, from 1981 (age 16) until 2007 (age 42). Youth unemployment was measured as months in unemployment between age 16 and 21, and health outcome as functional somatic symptoms (an index of 10 items of self-reported symptoms). Linear regression was used to analyse the relationship between months in youth unemployment and functional somatic symptoms at age 21 and age 42, stratified for women and men and adjusted for potential confounders, such as time spent in education at age 21 and later unemployment between age 21 and 42.
Results: Youth unemployment was significantly related to functional somatic symptoms at age 21 for men after controlling for confounders, but not for women. Among men, the association remained for functional somatic symptoms at age 42, after controlling for confounders.
Conclusions: Adolescence seems to be a sensitive period during which unemployment could have remaining health effects in adulthood, at least for men, though assumptions of causality are tentative and more research is needed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press , 2015. Vol. 25, no 5, 796-800 p.
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Other Social Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-309136DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckv038ISI: 000362972700013PubMedID: 25772751OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-309136DiVA: diva2:1077095
FunderSwedish Research Council Formas, 259-2012-37]Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2011-0445]