Epidemiological Transition and the Emergence of Mental Discomfort: The Case of Work Stress

  • Ari VäänänenEmail author
  • Pekka Varje


The chapter explores the role of long-term societal and cultural changes in the emergence of socio-emotional problems such as work stress. Building on Finnish historical datasets, it shows how psychosocial well-being and discomfort became an acute issue in different occupational sectors and in public awareness between the 1930s and 2010s. The chapter also reveals how the emergence of psychosocial discomfort has been linked to different social, cultural and economic mechanisms depending on the occupational sector. Overall, the analysis indicates that the epidemiological transformation in occupational health problems has been significantly influenced by the societal and organizational shifts towards service and knowledge economies as well as by cultural transitions among working populations. The emergence of work stress exemplifies this process.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Finnish Institute of Occupational HealthHelsinkiFinland

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