Article Text


Psychosocial working conditions
Work environment, health and wellbeing among children and adolescents in Denmark: results from a study of 545 13–17 year olds
  1. Merete Labriola,
  2. Thomas Lund,
  3. Johan Hviid
  1. Andersen Regional Hospital, Herning, Denmark


Objectives Despite the fact that many children and adolescents are engaged in part-time work besides attending school, the working conditions for this population is poorly represented in the scientific literature. The aim of this study is to describe the work environment, health and wellbeing for youth between 13 and 17 years of age in Denmark.

Methods The study is based on a sample of 545 youth 13–17 years of age. Data were collected in 2010 using questionnaires. The questionnaire included various aspects of work and health (general self-rated health, mental health, perceived stress, musculoskeletal symptoms and psychosomatic symptoms), using already developed and validated assessment tools.

Results 64% were engaged in work besides school. Compared to those without work, there were no significant differences in scores on health measures. Among those with work, 6 work factors were associated with a low score on one or more health measures: High emotional demands, harassment, bullying, heat, use of maximum physical strength and repetitive monotonous work. Especially harassment, bullying and high emotional demands were strongly related to health and well-being. Compared to the adult working population, exposure levels were generally lower. However, 39% of the participants were exposed to at least one of these three esposures, and 6% were exposed to all three simultaneously.

Conclusions Generally, children and adolescents are content with working. However, a significant proportion are part of work environments, that provide exposures to especially psychosocial work environment factors, that are significantly associated with more negative scores on measures of health and well-being.

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