Psychosocial dimensions of work and the risk of drug dependence among adults

Carles Muntaner, James C. Anthony, Rosa M. Crum, William W. Eaton

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52 Citations (Scopus)


The authors used prospectively gathered data to study whether different psychosocial work environments might signal increased risk of drug dependence syndromes. Adult participants were selected by probability sampling from households in five metropolitan areas of the United States. Subjects were sorted into risk sets defined by age and census tracts. Incident cases were identified using case definitions for drug abuse/dependence syndromes involving controlled substances, assessed by the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) administered during a baseline interview and at follow-up one year later. When the data were adjusted for baseline sociodemographic risk factors, history of alcoholism, and selected work conditions, increased risk of drug abuse/dependence was observed in subjects characterized by high levels of physical demands and low levels of skill discretion (high strain jobs) (relative odds (RO) = 4.92) and in subjects characterized by high levels of physical demands and decision authority (RO = 5.26). Findings from the present study underscore the importance of previously observed associations linking psychosocial work environments to mental health, and the results extend the range of findings to the drug dependence syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Jul 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA 04823), the National Institute of Mental Health (MH41908, MH14592, MH33870), and the Academic Data Processing Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. The Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program is a series of five epidemiologic research studies performed by independent research teams in collaboration with staff of the division of Biometry and Epidemiology (DBE) of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). During the period of data collection, the ECA Program was supported by cooperative agreements. The NIMH Principal Collaborators were Darrel A. Regier, Ben Z. Locke, and William W. Eaton (10/1/78-10/l/83)/Jack Burke (10/1/83-3/1/87); the NIMH Project Officers were Carl A. Taube and William Huber. The Prin-


  • Drugs
  • Occupational health
  • Occupations
  • Stress
  • Substance abuse
  • Substance dependence
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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