Handbook of the Sociology of Mental Health

Part of the series Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research pp 255-274

Work and Mental Health

  • Mark TausigAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, University of Akron

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Work1 is a central activity and a principal source of identity for most adults. As such, the relationship between work and mental and emotional well-being is of substantial interest. The effects of work on well-being, however, cannot be effectively understood simply by examining individual experiences in particular work settings. Rather, work-related wellbeing is linked to macroeconomic and labor market structures that define opportunities for employment (and probabilities for unemployment), to characteristics of jobs, to workers’ positions in other social stratification systems, and to the intersection of work roles and other major roles, especially marital and parental roles.