Sense of Coherence and Ill Health Among the Unemployed and Re-employed After Closure of an Assembly Plant
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 1999

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between employment status, ill health and sense of coherence(SOC). A cross-sectional sample of the former workers at the closed down Volvo Kalmar plant in Sweden was used. A questionnaire was mailed to all identified subjects 2 years after the closure of the plant. Responses were obtained from 344 persons, of whom 173were re-employed and 92were unemployed. They answered the questionnaire anonymously on background variables, SOC and ill health (physical and psychological symptoms).

A notable difference was found between the re-employed and unemployed, where the unemployed reported symptoms significantly more often as well as a significantly weaker SOC. The main finding in a four-cell model indicated that unemployment had a rather low impact on symptoms in the presence of a strong SOC. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was performed with simultaneous analysis of the unemployed and reemployed. The SEM analysis indicated that SOC seemed to have a greater impact on psychological symptoms among unemployed compared with re-employed persons. However, it should be noted that the present study does not allow for the determination of cause-effect relationships.

Sense of coherence

manufacturing technology


psychological aspects of work



work-related musculoskeletal disorders


Structural equation modeling

manufacturing system design


Jan Johansson Hanse

Göteborgs universitet

Tomas Engström

Institutionen för transportteknik

Work and Stress

0267-8373 (ISSN) 1464-5335 (eISSN)

Vol. 13 204-222


Tillämpad psykologi

Miljömedicin och yrkesmedicin