Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Impact of childhood and adulthood psychological health on labour force participation and exit in later life

  • C. Clark (a1), M. Smuk (a1), D. Lain (a2), S. A. Stansfeld (a1), E. Carr (a3), J. Head (a3) and S. Vickerstaff (a4)...

Abstract

Background

Adulthood psychological health predicts labour force activity but few studies have examined childhood psychological health. We hypothesized that childhood psychological ill-health would be associated with labour force exit at 55 years.

Method

Data were from the 55-year follow-up of the National Child Development Study (n = 9137). Labour force participation and exit (unemployment, retirement, permanent sickness, homemaking/other) were self-reported at 55 years. Internalizing and externalizing problems in childhood (7, 11 and 16 years) and malaise in adulthood (23, 33, 42, 50 years) were assessed. Education, social class, periods of unemployment, partnership separations, number of children, and homemaking activity were measured throughout adulthood.

Results

Childhood internalizing and externalizing problems were associated with unemployment, permanent sickness and homemaking/other at 55 years, after adjustment for adulthood psychological health and education: one or two reports of internalizing was associated with increased risk for unemployment [relative risk (RR) 1.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12–2.25; RR 2.37, 95% CI 1.48–3.79] and permanent sickness (RR 1.32, 95% CI 1.00–1.74; RR, 1.48, 95% CI 1.00–2.17); three reports of externalizing was associated with increased risk for unemployment (RR 2.26, 95% CI 1.01–5.04), permanent sickness (RR 2.63, 95% CI 1.46–4.73) and homemaking/other (RR 1.95, 95% CI 1.00–3.78).

Conclusions

Psychological ill-health across the lifecourse, including during childhood, reduces the likelihood of working in older age. Support for those with mental health problems at different life stages and for those with limited connections to the labour market, including homemakers, is an essential dimension of attempts to extend working lives.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: C. Clark, Ph.D., Barts & the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK. (Email: c.clark@qmul.ac.uk)

References

Hide All
Alavinia, SM, Burdorf, A (2008). Unemployment and retirement and ill-health: a cross-sectional analysis across European countries. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 82, 3945.
Altmann, R (2015). A New Vision for Older Workers: Retain, Retrain, Recruit. Department of Work and Pensions: London.
Black, CM (2008). Working for a Healthier Tomorrow: Dame Carol Black's Review of the Health of Britain's Working Age Population. The Stationery Office: London.
Brown, M, Elliott, J, Hancock, M, Shepherd, P, Dodgeon, B (2010). National Child Development Study 2008–2009 Follow-Up (First Deposit): A Guide to the Dataset. Centre for Longitudinal Studies: Institute of Education: London.
Clark, C, Caldwell, T, Power, C, Stansfeld, SA (2010). Does the influence of childhood adversity on psychopathology persist across the lifecourse? A 45-year prospective epidemiologic study. Annals of Epidemiology 20, 385394.
Clark, C, Rodgers, B, Caldwell, T, Power, C, Stansfeld, S (2007). Childhood and adulthood psychological ill health as predictors of midlife affective and anxiety disorders – The 1958 British Birth Cohort. Archives of General Psychiatry 64, 668678.
Clark, DM, Layard, R, Smithies, R, Richards, DA, Suckling, R, Wright, B (2009). Improving access to psychological therapy: initial evaluation of two UK demonstration sites. Behaviour Research and Therapy 47, 910920.
Colman, I, Wadsworth, ME, Croudace, TJ, Jones, PB (2007). Forty-year psychiatric outcomes following assessment for internalizing disorder in adolescence. American Journal of Psychiatry 164, 126133.
Copeland, WE, Shanahan, L, Egger, H, Angold, A, Costello, EJ (2014). Adult diagnostic and functional outcomes of DSM-5 disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 171, 668674.
Copeland, WE, Wolke, D, Shanahan, L, Costello, EJ (2015). Adult functional outcomes of common childhood psychiatric problems: a prospective longitudinal study. JAMA Psychiatry 72, 892899.
DWP (2014). Working Longer: A Framework for Action Background Evidence. Department for Work and Pensions: London.
Elander, J, Rutter, M (1996). Use and development of the Rutter Parents’ and Teachers’ Scales. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 6, 6378.
Fazel, M, Hoagwood, K, Stephan, S, Ford, T (2014). Mental health interventions in schools in high-income countries. Lancet Psychiatry 1, 377387.
Fonagy, P, Clark, DM (2015). Update on the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme in England: Commentary on … Children and Young People's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies. BJPsych Bulletin 39, 248251.
Gallo, WT, Bradley, EH, Dubin, JA, Jones, RN, Falba, TA, Teng, H, Kasl, SV (2006). The persistence of depressive symptoms in older workers who experience involuntary job loss: results from the Health and Retirement Survey. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 61, S221S228.
Gibb, SJ, Fergusson, DM, Horwood, LJ (2011). Relationship duration and mental health outcomes: findings from a 30-year longitudinal study. British Journal of Psychiatry 198, 2430.
Green, H, McGinnity, A, Meltzer, H, Ford, T, Goodman, R (2005). Mental Health of Children and Young People in Great Britain, 2004 (ed. Office of National Statistics). Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke.
Haas, SA, Glymour, MM, Berkman, LF (2011). Childhood health and labor market inequality over the life course. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 52, 298313.
Hancock, M, Elliott, J, Johnson, J, Bukodi, E (2011 a). National Child Development Study: Activity Histories 1974–2009. Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education: London.
Hancock, M, Elliott, J, Johnson, J, Bukodi, E (2011 b). National Child Development Study: Partnership Histories 1974–2008. Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education: London.
Health and Safety Executive (2007). Managing the Causes of Work-Related Stress: A Step-by-Step Approach Using the Management Standards HSG218. HSE Books: Sudbury.
Henderson, M, Hotopf, M, Leon, D (2009). Childhood temperament and long term sickness absence in adult life. British Journal of Psychiatry 194, 220223.
Henderson, M, Richards, M, Stansfeld, S, Hotopf, M (2012). The association between childhood cognitive ability and adult long-term sickness absence in three British birth cohorts: a cohort study. BMJ Open 2, e000777.
Hicks, R, Tingley, D (2011). Causal mediation analysis. Stata Journal 11, 605619.
Insel, TR, Fenton, WS (2005). Psychiatric epidemiology: it's not just about counting anymore. Archives of General Psychiatry 62, 590592.
Irvine, A (2013). Common mental health problems and work. In Work, Health and Wellbeing: The Challenges of Managing Health at Work (ed. Vickerstaff, S, Phillipson, C and Wilkie, R), pp. 3958. Policy Press: Bristol.
Kaspersen, SL, Pape, K, Ose, SO, Gunnell, D, Bjorngaard, JH (2016 a). Unemployment and initiation of psychotropic medication: a case-crossover study of 2 348 552 Norwegian employees. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 73, 719726.
Kaspersen, SL, Pape, K, Vie, , Ose, SO, Krokstad, S, Gunnell, D, Bjørngaard, JH (2016 b). Health and unemployment: 14 years of follow-up on job loss in the Norwegian HUNT Study. European Journal of Public Health 26, 312317.
Knudsen, AK, Øverland, S, Aakvaag, HF, Harvey, SB, Hotopf, M, Mykletun, A (2010). Common mental disorders and disability pension award: seven year follow-up of the HUSK study. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 69, 5967.
Knudsen, AK, Øverland, S, Hotopf, M, Mykletun, A (2012). Lost working years due to mental disorders: an analysis of the Norwegian disability pension registry. PLOS ONE 7, e42567.
Lain, D (2016). Reconstructing Retirement: Work and Welfare in the UK and USA. Policy Press: Bristol.
Lorant, V (2003). Socioeconomic inequalities in depression: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Epidemiology 157, 98112.
Loretto, W, Vickerstaff, S (2011). The relationship between gender and age. In Managing an Age Diverse Workforce (ed. Tyson, S and Parry, E), pp. 5979. Palgrave MacMillan: London.
Lundin, A, Hemmingsson, T (2013). Adolescent Predictors of Unemployment and Disability Pension across the Life Course – a Longitudinal Study of Selection in 49 321 Swedish Men. The Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy: Uppsala, Sweden.
MacNicol, J (2015). NeoLiberalising Old Age. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
McManus, S, Meltzer, H, Brugha, T, Bebbington, P, Jenkins, R (2009). Adult Psychiatric Morbidity in England, 2007: Results of a Household Survey. The NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care: Leeds.
Meng, XL (1994). Multiple-imputation inferences with uncongenial sources of input (with discussion). Statistical Science 9, 538573.
Moffitt, TE (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: a developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review 100, 674701.
Mojtabai, R, Stuart, EA, Hwang, I, Eaton, WW, Sampson, N, Kessler, RC (2015). Long-term effects of mental disorders on educational attainment in the National Comorbidity Survey ten-year follow-up. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 50, 15771591.
Montgomery, SM, Bartley, MJ, Cook, DG, Wadsworth, MEJ (1996). Health and social precursors of unemployment in young men in Great Britain. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 50, 415422.
Mykletun, A, Overland, S, Dahl, AA, Krokstad, S, Bjerkeset, O, Glozier, N, Aarø, LE, Prince, M (2006). A population-based cohort study of the effect of common mental disorders on disability pension awards. American Journal of Psychiatry 163, 14121418.
Odgers, C, Moffitt, T, Broadbent, J, Dickson, N, Hancox, R, Harrington, H, Poulton, R, Sears, M, Thomson, W, Caspi, A (2008). Female and male antisocial trajectories: from childhood origins to adult outcomes. Developmental Psychopathology 20, 673716.
Odgers, CL, Caspi, A, Broadbent, JM, Dickson, N, Hancox, RJ, Harrington, H, Poulton, R, Sears, MR, Thomson, WM, Moffitt, TE (2007). Prediction of differential adult health burden by conduct problem subtypes in males. Archives of General Psychiatry 64, 476484.
OPCS (1980). Office of Population Censuses and Surveys – Classification of Occupations. HMSO: London.
Overland, S, Glozier, N, Henderson, M, Maeland, JG, Hotopf, M, Mykletun, A (2008). Health status before, during and after disability pension award: the Hordaland Health Study (HUSK). Occupational and Environmental Medicine 65, 769773.
Overland, S, Glozier, N, Maeland, JG, Aaro, LE, Mykletun, A (2006). Employment status and perceived health in the Hordaland Health Study (HUSK). BMC Public Health 6, 219.
Richiardi, L, Bellocco, R, Zugna, D (2013). Mediation analysis in epidemiology: methods, interpretation and bias. International Journal of Epidemiology 42, 15111519.
Rodgers, B, Pickles, A, Power, C, Collishaw, S, Maughan, B (1999). Validity of the Malaise Inventory in general population samples. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 34, 333341.
Rubin, DB (1987). Multiple Imputation for Nonresponse in Surveys. John Wiley and Sons: New York.
Rutter, M (1967). A children's behaviour questionnaire for completion by teachers: preliminary findings. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 8, 111.
Rutter, ML (1970). Psycho-social disorders in childhood, and their outcome in adult life. Journal of the Royal College of Physicians London 4, 211218.
Sörberg, A, Lundin, A, Allebeck, P, Melin, B, Falkstedt, D, Hemmingsson, T (2013). Cognitive ability in late adolescence and disability pension in middle age: follow-up of a national cohort of Swedish males. PLOS ONE 8, e78268.
Stansfeld, S, Smuk, M, Onwumere, J, Clark, C, Pike, C, McManus, S, Harris, J, Bebbington, P (2014). Stressors and common mental disorder in informal carers – an analysis of the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. Social Science and Medicine 120, 190198.
Stansfeld, SA, Clark, C, Rodgers, B, Caldwell, T, Power, C (2011). Repeated exposure to socioeconomic disadvantage and health selection as life course pathways to mid-life depressive and anxiety disorders. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 46, 549558.
Stansfeld, SA, Clark, C, Smuk, M, Power, C, Davidson, T, Rodgers, B (2017). Childhood adversity and midlife suicidal ideation. Psychological Medicine 47, 327340.
StataCorp (2015). Stata Statistical Software: Release 14. StataCorp LP: College Station, TX.
van der Noordt, M, Ijzelenberg, H, Droomers, M, Proper, KI (2014). Health effects of employment: a systematic review of prospective studies. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 71, 730736.
van Rijn, RM, Robroek, SJW, Brouwer, S, Burdorf, A (2014). Influence of poor health on exit from paid employment: a systematic review. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 71, 295301.
Veldman, K, Reijnveld, SA, Ortiz, JA, Verhulst, FC, Bultmann, U (2015). Mental health trajectories from childhood to young adulthood affect the educational and employment status of young adults: results from the TRAILS study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 69, 588593.

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Clark supplementary material
Table S1

 Word (69 KB)
69 KB

Impact of childhood and adulthood psychological health on labour force participation and exit in later life

  • C. Clark (a1), M. Smuk (a1), D. Lain (a2), S. A. Stansfeld (a1), E. Carr (a3), J. Head (a3) and S. Vickerstaff (a4)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed