Introduction: Empirical evidence is inconsistent whether part-time or full-time work is more beneficial to the mental health. One explanation for contradictory findings is that researchers usually do not take the working hour preferences of workers into account.The objective of this study was to investigate whether involuntary part-time and involuntary full-time work are associated with a deterioration of mental health two-years later, on the one hand, and to examine whether family- and work-related resources buffer this association, on the other hand.
Methods: Data were obtained from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), with baseline information on involuntary working hours and on family-related resources (social network and low household workload) and on work-related resources (standard worktime). This information was linked to change in mental health two years later.Mental health is measured by the 12-items Short Form survey’s Mental Component Summary (MCS) score. Workers in paid work between 20 and 60 years old are selected.
Results: MCS scores indicate impaired mental health when previously working in involuntary full-time work for men and increased mental health when previously working in voluntary part-time work for women.The mental health of involuntary full-time male workers is more vulnerable, compared to voluntary full-time workers, when having high non-standard work hours and when living in a couple (with or without children). Involuntary part-time work is detrimental for men’s mental health when doing a high amount of household work.
Conclusion: This study is one of the first to emphasize the of involuntary full-time work.
SOURCE: D De Moortel, N Dragano, M Wahrendorf. “Involuntary full- and part-time work: employees’ mental health and the role of family- and work-related resources.” Das Gesundheitswesen, 2019.
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