Online Program

Self-Rated Health and Depression among Green Collar Workers: Job Demand-Control Pathways to Health

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:46 a.m.

Sharon Christ, PhD, Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Statistics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, DO, PhD, MPH, CPH, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Manuel Cifuentes, MD, ScD, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA
William G. LeBlanc, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Kristopher L. Arheart, Ed.D., Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Biostatistics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Cristina Fernandez, MSEd, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Charles Chen, BS, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Lora Fleming, MD, PhD, European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Truro, United Kingdom
David Lee, PhD, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine - NIOSH Research Group, Miami, FL
Background/Objectives: The health status of green collar workers (GCW) is relatively unexplored. Also, it is unknown what occupational exposures these jobs entail and how these exposures impact worker health. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the health status of GCW; and to demonstrate the value of linking health data with O*NET data on occupational exposures.

Methods: A structural equation model (SEM) was used to evaluate the relationship of GCW status with self-rated health and depression through O*NET job psychosocial demand-control mediators. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data from 2004-2012 (n=109,251 workers) with occupation-specific information linked from O*NET were analyzed. Direct and indirect pathways to health outcomes were estimated controlling for confounders.

Results/Outcomes:  Working in a green collar job is directly associated with slightly poorer self-rated health and negligibly more depression when controlling for the psychosocially passive nature of the occupation. Direct effects of green collar work are smaller or non-existent when controlling for the psychosocially active, high strain, and low strain characteristics of jobs. GCW are more likely to work in occupations that are active, not passive and this indirectly positively impacts health outcomes.

Conclusion: GCW self-rated health and depression are not substantially different from non-GCW. However, there are small effects on health through the demand-control characteristics of green collar occupations. Linkage of health information with specific occupational exposure data provides valuable information about the specific occupational mechanisms affecting health. This knowledge allows employers and policy makers to address the occupation exposures most relevant to health.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how to link data from the National Health Interview Survey with data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and benefits of doing this Evaluate the relationship between employment in green collar occupations and self-rated health and depression. Compare the direct and indirect pathways from green collar work to health outcomes by way of occupational characteristics.

Keyword(s): Environmental Health, Occupational Health and Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a professor of public health sciences and principal investigator (PI) of the federal reesarch grant funding this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.