Psychosocial work environment and its association with socioeconomic status. A comparison of Spain and Denmark

Salvador Moncada, Jan Hyld Pejtersen, Albert Navarro, Clara Llorens, Hermann Burr, Peter Hasle, Jakob Bue Bjorner

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Aims: The purpose of this study was to describe psychosocial work environment inequalities among wage earners in Spain and Denmark. Methods: Data came from the Spanish COPSOQ (ISTAS 21) and the Danish COPSOQ II surveys both performed in 2004-05 and based on national representative samples of employees with a 60% response rate. Study population was 3,359 Danish and 6,685 Spanish women and men. Only identical items from both surveys were included to construct 18 psychosocial scales. Socioeconomic status was categorized according to the European Socioeconomic Classification System. Analysis included ordinal logistic regression and multiple correspondence analysis after categorizing all scales. Results: A relationship between socioeconomic status and psychosocial work environment in both Denmark and Spain was observed, with wider social inequalities in Spain for many scales, describing a strong interaction effect between socioeconomic status and country. Conclusions: Socioeconomic status is related to psychosocial work environment and some adverse psychosocial conditions tend to cluster in lower socioeconomic status groups in both Spain and Denmark. This effect could be modified by a country's characteristics, such as economic and labour market structures, normative regulations and industrial relations including work organization. Hence, preventive strategies to reduce social inequalities in working conditions should consider the combination of actions at the macro and micro levels. © 2009 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-148
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010


  • Denmark
  • Inequalities
  • International COPSOQ
  • Occupational exposures
  • Occupational health
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Spain


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