Unemployment and ill health - A gender analysis: Results from a 14-year follow-up of the Northern Swedish Cohort

I. Reine, M. Novo, A. Hammarström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To analyse the associations between unemployment and suboptimal self-rated health as well as high alcohol consumption, and to examine the role of possible mediating factors explaining the associations from a gender perspective. Study design: The sample, from a 14-year longitudinal study with a 96.4% response rate, consisted of 386 women and 478 men who were either employed or unemployed at 30 years of age. Methods: The health outcomes studied were suboptimal self-rated health and high alcohol consumption at 30 years of age. Logistic regression was used for analysis, and the relational theory of gender was used to discuss the findings. Results: A strong relationship was found between unemployment and suboptimal self-rated health among women, and unemployment and high alcohol consumption among men, even after controlling for health-related selection, potential mediators and background factors. All mediating factors in the model were attributable to suboptimal self-rated health among unemployed women. Two mediating factors were also substantially related to high alcohol consumption among unemployed men. Conclusions: Long-term unemployment at a young age could have various health effects in men and women. At present, the mechanisms behind the health consequences are better understood among women. Research would benefit from developing theories in order to explain how youth unemployment leads to gendered health consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-222
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Gender
  • Self-rated health
  • Unemployment

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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