Depression and Leaving Employment Among Older Adult Americans

Published in: Psychiatric Services, v. 55, no. 1, Jan. 2004, p. 10

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2003

by Haijun Tian, Roland Sturm

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Numerous cross-sectional analyses have shown that individuals with mental illness are less likely to be employed, and many psychological studies have demonstrated that the loss of employment is a risk factor for developing depression. It remains less clear, however, whether depression affects job retention among the employed. The author's study suggests that depression takes a higher toll among older women in the workforce. Given the central role of employer-sponsored health insurance in our health care system, leaving employment because of depression may worsen access to care for depressed individuals.

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