Job stressors and employment precarity as risks for thoughts about suicide: an Australian study using the Ten to Men cohort
journal contributionposted on 2018-06-01, 00:00 authored by Allison Milner, Tony LaMontagneTony LaMontagne, Matthew J Spittal, Jane Pirkis, Dianne Currier
Aims: Past research suggests that adverse experiences at work (such as job stressors and precarious employment) are associated with thoughts about suicide, especially among males. A limitation of this research is that it is largely cross-sectional. Thus, it is unknown whether job stressors are a prior cause of thoughts about suicide. This study examined the baseline association between adverse experiences at work and thoughts about suicide at follow-up in a large nationally representative cohort of employed men. Methods: We used data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men). The outcome was thoughts about suicide in the prior 12 months (reported in wave 2) and the key exposure variables were: high job demands, low job control, job insecurity, perceived unfairness of pay, occupational skill level, and employment arrangement (all reported in wave 1). We adjusted for possible confounders, including mental health and suicidal thoughts (wave 1). Results: In a sample of 8379 and after adjustment, job insecurity (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.13-1.61, P = 0.001), low job control (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.06-1.33, P = 0.004), and employment on a casual or on a fixed term basis (OR 1.30, 95% 1.01-1.67, P = 0.041) were associated with a greater odds of thoughts about suicide at follow up. Results for all by job control were maintained after removing those who reported thoughts of suicide at baseline. Conclusion: This study suggests that experiences at work may be risk factors for thoughts about suicide among employed men. More research is needed to unpack the complex associations between, employment, and experiences of suicide.