Socioeconomic status, achieving occupational aspirations and sickness absence: A population based longitudinal study of Norwegian youths
This paper examines whether the degree of convergence between occupational aspirations and actual occupational achievement can elucidate the relationship between socioeconomic status and sickness absence. The analyses draw on survey data from a longitudinal study following 1,552 respondents from adolescence through young adulthood linked to register data on sickness absence. Occupational aspirations in adolescence were contrasted with actual occupational achievement in young adulthood and used to predict sickness absence. In accordance with existing research, socioeconomic status significantly predicted sickness absence, even after controlling for several relevant variables. Including aspiration achievement in the analysis reduced the relationship between socioeconomic status and sickness absence, while aspiration achievement was significantly related to sickness absence. The findings indicate that aspiration achievement mediates the relationship between socioeconomic status and sickness absence
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