Unemployment and its association with health-relevant actions: investigating the role of time perspective with German census data

Schunck R, Rogge B (2010)
International Journal of Public Health 55(4): 271-278.

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Objective In this study, we seek to explain how unemployment is related to an increase in health-damaging actions. A short time perspective, that is an orientation towards the present rather than the future, is hypothesised to account for this effect. The concept of time perspective is located within an action theoretical framework and the hypothesis is tested empirically. Methods We investigated the unemployed people’s smoking behaviour and body-mass index (BMI) using German microcensus data from 2003. Data from 77,766 respondents (88.60% employed and 11.40% unemployed) were analysed. Multivariate regression analysis was applied to test our hypotheses. Results Unemployment is associated with a 46% higher probability to smoke and with a 0.37 unit increase in BMI compared to employment. The likelihood of smoking steadily increases with the duration of unemployment, while only unemployment spells of 4 years and longer are significantly related to BMI. Yet, the smoking probability of those unemployed who have a long time perspective is 74% lower and their BMI is 1.81 lower than those who do not have a long time perspective. Conclusion Unemployment is negatively associated with health-relevant actions. This effect varies according to persons’ time perspectives. Our approach delivers an innovative view on why unemployed individuals exercise more health-damaging actions than the employed.
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Schunck R, Rogge B. Unemployment and its association with health-relevant actions: investigating the role of time perspective with German census data. International Journal of Public Health. 2010;55(4):271-278.
Schunck, R., & Rogge, B. (2010). Unemployment and its association with health-relevant actions: investigating the role of time perspective with German census data. International Journal of Public Health, 55(4), 271-278.
Schunck, R., and Rogge, B. (2010). Unemployment and its association with health-relevant actions: investigating the role of time perspective with German census data. International Journal of Public Health 55, 271-278.
Schunck, R., & Rogge, B., 2010. Unemployment and its association with health-relevant actions: investigating the role of time perspective with German census data. International Journal of Public Health, 55(4), p 271-278.
R. Schunck and B. Rogge, “Unemployment and its association with health-relevant actions: investigating the role of time perspective with German census data”, International Journal of Public Health, vol. 55, 2010, pp. 271-278.
Schunck, R., Rogge, B.: Unemployment and its association with health-relevant actions: investigating the role of time perspective with German census data. International Journal of Public Health. 55, 271-278 (2010).
Schunck, Reinhard, and Rogge, Benedikt. “Unemployment and its association with health-relevant actions: investigating the role of time perspective with German census data”. International Journal of Public Health 55.4 (2010): 271-278.
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