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Job Insecurity as a Predictor of Physiological Indicators of Health in Healthy Working Women: An Extension of Previous Research


Katharina Näswall, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.



Job insecurity has been linked to different negative outcomes, such as negative work attitudes and health problems, with most studies including self-reported outcomes. Extending earlier research, the present study includes both self-reported and physiological indicators of health and sets out to investigate whether higher levels of job insecurity are related to higher levels of allostatic load, higher levels of morning cortisol, more physician-diagnosed symptoms of ill-health and poorer self-rated health. The study also investigated whether self-rated health mediated the relation between job insecurity and physiological outcomes. This was cross-sectionally studied in a cohort of Swedish women who participated in a large-scale longitudinal study focusing on life span development and adaptation. The results showed that job insecurity was related to self-rated health and morning cortisol, and, contrary to expectations, that job insecurity was unrelated to allostatic load and physician ratings, both directly and indirectly. The results indicate that, in healthy working women, job insecurity may be less detrimental to long-term physiological health than originally hypothesized. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.