Uncertainty in work schedules is associated with serious psychological distress among workers aged 18 to 64 years, according to an April data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.
Laryssa Mykyta, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, examined differences in serious psychological distress in the past 30 days by work conditions, including shift work, variation in monthly earnings, perceived job insecurity, and work schedule flexibility for working adults aged 18 to 64 years in the United States. Data were extracted from the 2021 National Health Interview Survey.
Mykyta found that the likelihood of experiencing serious psychological distress was increased for working adults aged 18 to 64 years who usually worked the evening or night shift or a rotating shift compared with those working a day shift (4.8 and 3.9 percent, respectively, versus 2.3 percent). As monthly variation in earnings increased, there was an increase noted in the percentage of workers experiencing serious psychological distress. Workers who reported difficulty changing their work schedule had higher serious psychological distress than those who reported it was easy or somewhat easy to change their schedule (4.2 versus 2.2 percent). The likelihood of experiencing serious psychological distress was increased for adults who worked when they were physically ill in the past three months compared with those who did not (5.8 versus 1.9 percent).
“In 2021, 2.7 percent of working adults aged 18 to 64 overall experienced serious psychological distress,” Mykyta writes. “Yet rates varied by work conditions.”
Laryssa Mykyta, Work Conditions and Serious Psychological Distress Among Working Adults Aged 18–64: United States, 2021, (2023). DOI: 10.15620/cdc:126566
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