Industrial Health
Online ISSN : 1880-8026
Print ISSN : 0019-8366
ISSN-L : 0019-8366
Original Articles
The direct and indirect effects of initial job status on midlife psychological distress in Japan: evidence from a mediation analysis
Takashi OSHIOSeiichi INAGAKI
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2015 Volume 53 Issue 4 Pages 311-321


In the current study, we investigated how initial job status at graduation from school is associated with midlife psychological distress, using microdata from a nationwide Internet survey of 3,117 men and 2,818 women aged 30–60 yr. We measured psychological distress using the Kessler 6 (K6) score (range: 0–24) and the binary variable of K6 score ≥5. We found that unstable initial job status substantially raised midlife K6 scores and the probability of a K6 score ≥5 for both men and women. Furthermore, our mediation analysis showed that for men, slightly less than 60% of the effect was mediated by current job status, household income, and marital status. For women, the effect of initial job status was somewhat lesser than that for men, and only 20–30% of it was mediated. Despite these gender asymmetries, the results indicated that initial job status was a key predictor of midlife mental health. The association between job status and mental health should be further investigated with special reference to the institutional attributes of the labor market and their socio-economic/demographic outcomes.

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© 2015 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
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