To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness: Introduction to Part II
Laura Limonic, Assistant Professor, Sociology, College at Old Westbury, State University of New York,
Mary Clare Lennon, Professor, PhD Program in Sociology and DPH Program in Public Health, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Limonic and Lennon examine the mental health consequences of work and unemployment. The authors discuss the different theoretical models for understanding the relationship between work and psychological well-being. Changes in the nature of work, the stability of the labor market, and the involvement of women in the workforce have had important consequences for psychological well-being. Jobs that are demanding and precarious, and provide few opportunities for control, have negative consequences for mental health. Limonic and Lennon also consider the effect of unpaid work, specifically housework, on mental health and well-being. Like paid work, housework involves varying levels of control and stressful demands. Unemployment has a negative effect on well-being because it may reduce self-esteem and economic security, and thus produce anxiety and depression. Yet it is important to examine the economic context within which individuals experience unemployment. Several recent approaches, which integrate community-level conditions and individual characteristics, are described. The authors conclude by providing an overview of the current research on the effects of unemployment during the Great Recession. New research points to long-lasting consequences of job displacement for the individuals affected as well as their families and communities. What are some of the impacts of the Great Recession on labor market outcomes for young job seekers? How do these possible outcomes affect mental health trajectories?
This chapter considers some of the mental health consequences of work and unemployment. In examining the effects of work, it focuses on specific work conditions that both theoretical and empirical studies indicate are important for psychological well-being, defined as the absence of mental health symptoms such as anxiety or depression. Rather than restrict attention to paid work, this chapter will also consider research on unpaid work. In examining unemployment, attention is given to the effects of individual job loss as well as community-level unemployment.
Americans spend large portions of their adult life working. Considering waged work, the average work week is about 34.5 hours (US Department of Labor, 2015a). Since approximately 90 percent of men and three-quarters of women aged 25–54 are in the paid labor force (US Department of Labor, 2015b), jobs hold a central place in the daily lives of most of the adult population. Recently, various social and economic changes have affected the availability and quality of jobs for a substantial number of workers.
The biological or medical approach views mental illness as if it were a disease or physical defect in the brain or body. Within the social approach, there are three dominant theories of mental illness etiology: stress theory, structural strain theory and labeling theory. This chapter describes each theory's basic concepts and assumptions, theoretical limitations and advantages, and implications for treating or preventing mental illness. According to stress theory, when events and strains accumulate in people's lives, they can overwhelm people's psychosocial resources and abilities to cope and then generate symptoms of psychological disorder. Labeling theory picks up at this point and suggests that frequent, severe, or highly visible symptoms or symptoms exhibited by those with little social prestige or power, can launch a victimizing process. Societal reactions to symptoms may result in the person's receiving a formal psychiatric diagnosis, becoming hospitalized, and, ultimately, accepting a mental patient identity.
Social scientists have been concerned about the relationship between work and mental health among women for several decades. Since the 1960s, there have been large-scale changes in women's employment, social roles, social theory, and social policy, all of which have shaped the scholarly literature. This chapter summarizes this literature and its evolution in the context of the social changes that have shaped the study of women, work, and depression. It gives a broad overview of the literature, with particular focus on research questions and debates that have emerged in the past decade. Implications for future research and social policy are highlighted, as well.
EARLY RESEARCH ON WOMEN, WORK, AND DEPRESSION
Social science research on employment and women's well-being reached its peak in the 1980s and 1990s (see Klumb & Lampert, 2004, for a review). As the number of women in the labor force increased, researchers became concerned about the impact of employment on women's psychological well-being. A number of studies had found that employed wives exhibited fewer symptoms of psychological distress and depressive symptomatology than did nonemployed wives (e.g., Pearlin, 1975; Radloff, 1975; Rosenfield, 1980). Explanations for this finding generally focused on the importance of the prevailing female sex role of housewife and mother. It was argued that tasks involved in women's traditional domestic roles were unskilled, repetitive, and isolating and thus apt to be psychologically distressing (Gove & Tudor, 1973).
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.