Job Decision Latitude Lowers Worker Stress, but for Whom? Results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health

Abstract

Prior research shows job decision latitude is associated with stress. Few studies of this association address omitted-variable bias or how employee gender and educational attainment modify this relationship. This study refines estimates of this association in a panel study of young adults entering mid-adulthood, and tests whether this relationship varies by worker gender and education. The sample consisted of 1937 working women and men in Wave 4 and Sample 1 of Wave 5 in the US National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Fixed effects regression was used to assess changes in job decision latitude and stress controlling for time-varying controls and omitted time-invariant factors. Fixed effects estimates revealed an inverse association between increasing job decision latitude and stress (b =  − .19; 95% CI − .33, − .05). Gender did not modify this association nor did worker education. Increasing job decision latitude is associated with lower stress over time for working women and men. Results suggest that enhancing job decision latitude can benefit a variety of women and men entering their prime working years.

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Correspondence to Adam M. Lippert.

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Lippert, A.M., Venechuk, G. Job Decision Latitude Lowers Worker Stress, but for Whom? Results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Popul Res Policy Rev 39, 1009–1017 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11113-020-09569-9

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Keywords

  • Work
  • Job control
  • Stress
  • Education
  • Gender