Mental health trajectories and their embeddedness in work and family circumstances: A latent state-trait approach to life-course trajectories
|Title||Mental health trajectories and their embeddedness in work and family circumstances: A latent state-trait approach to life-course trajectories|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Cullati, S, Courvoisier, D, Burton-Jeangros, C|
|Journal||Sociology of Health & Illness|
|Keywords||family circumstances, life course, mental health, trajectories, work circumstances|
Mental health trajectories are known to be influenced by work and family circumstances. However, few studies have examined both of these influences simultaneously in a longitudinal manner. The life-course perspective stresses the importance of examining trajectories in terms of both stable and dynamic components. In this article we use structural equation models (latent state-trait, LST) to distinguish the stable and situational components of mental health trajectories and hypothesise that situational mental health is influenced by satisfaction with work and family, and this effect differs by gender. An analysis of data from a nationally representative sample of 1616 working Swiss residents (2000–2006) shows that mental health trajectories are mostly stable and only slightly sensitive to situational influences. However, situational influences in a given wave do predict situational influences in the next wave. Satisfaction with work and family influences situational mental health in both genders, but the impact is greater for men. In conclusion, the LST approach allows for the examination of mental health trajectories from a life-course perspective by distinguishing stable and situational components. Mental health trajectories are more stable and constant than they are dependent on work and family circumstances, and men are more sensitive to family circumstances than women.