Employment Prospects of Young Adults With Mental Disorders

Open access


We examine how type of diagnosis, educational trajectories and educational qualifications affect the employment prospects of young adults with mental disorders. We draw on a novel dataset based on data from the Swiss Federal Social Insurance Office. Our analysis shows that individuals with mental disorders that typically have an onset in early childhood, those who experience educational trajectories including special needs education, and those attaining higher levels of qualification are more likely to be employed in early adulthood.

Abbott, Andrew. 1995. Sequence Analysis: New Methods for Old Ideas. Annual Review of Sociology 21: 93–113.

Alexander, Karl L., Doris R. Entwisle, and Carrie S. Horsey. 1997. From First Grade Forward: Early Foundations of High School Dropout. Sociology of Education 70(2): 87–107.

Allmendinger, Jutta. 1989. Educational Systems and Labor Market Outcomes. European Sociological Review 5(3): 231–250.

Andersen, Jorgen Goul. 2002. Coping With Long-Term Unemployment: Economic Security, Labour Market Integration and Well-Being. Results From a Danish Panel Study, 1994–1999. International Journal of Social Welfare 11: 178–190.

Baer, Niklas, Szilvia Altwicker-Hámori, Sibylle Juvalta, Ulrich Frick, and Peter Rüesch. 2015. Profile von Jungen IV-Neurentenbeziehenden mit psychischen Krankheiten. Forschungsbericht Nr. 19/15. Bern: Bundesamt für Sozialversicherungen (BSV).

Baer, Niklas, Ulrich Frick, and Tanja Fasel. 2009. Dossieranalyse der Invalidisierungen aus psychischen Gründen. Typologisierung der Personen, ihrer Erkrankungen, Belastungen und Berentungsverläufe. Forschungsbericht Nr. 6/09. Bern: Bundesamt für Sozialversicherungen (BSV).

BFS. 2015. Übergänge und Verläufe auf der Sekundarstufe II. Neuchâtel: Bundesamt für Statistik (BFS).

BFS. 2010. Demos Newsletter: Informationen aus der Demographie. Neuchâtel: Bundesamt für Statistik (BFS).

Birnbaum, Howard G., Ronald C. Kessler, David Kelley, Rym Ben-Hamadi, Vijay N. Joish, and Paul E. Greenberg. 2010. Employer Burden of Mild, Moderate, and Severe Major Depressive Disorder: Mental Health Services Utilization and Costs, and Work Performance. Depression and Anxiety 27(1): 78–89.

Boone, Simon and Mieke Van Houtte. 2013. In Search of the Mechanisms Conducive to Class Differentials in Educational Choice: A Mixed Method Research. Sociological Review 61(3): 549–572.

Breen, Richard and Marlis Buchmann. 2002. Institutional Variation and the Position of Young People: A Comparative Perspective. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 580: 288–305.

Breslau, Joshua, Michael Lane, Nancy Sampson, and Ronald C. Kessler. 2008. Mental Disorders and Subsequent Educational Attainment in a US National Sample. Journal of Psychiatric Research 42(9): 708–716.

Burchardt, Tania. 2005. The Education and Employment of Disabled Young People: Frustrated Ambition. Bristol UK: The Policy Press.

Card, David. 1999. The Causal Effect of Education on Earnings. Pp. 1801–1863 in Handbook of Labor Economics, Vol. 3, edited by Orley Ashenfelter and David Card. North Holland: Elsevier.

Chatterji, Pinka, Margarita Alegria, and David Takeuchi. 2011. Psychiatric Disorders and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence From the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication. Journal of Health Economics 30(5): 858–868.

Cohen, Albert K. 1965. The Sociology of the Deviant Act: Anomie Theory and Beyond. American Sociological Review 30(1): 5–14.

Cook, Judith A. and Lisa Razzano. 2000. Vocational Rehabilitation for Persons With Schizophrenia: Recent Research and Implications for Practice. Schizophrenia Bulletin 26(1): 87–103.

Dannefer, Dale. 2003. Cumulative Advantage/Disadvantage and the Life Course: Cross-Fertilizing Age and Social Science Theory. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 58(6): 327–337.

Downes, Paul. 2011. The Neglected Shadow: European Perspectives on Emotional Supports for Early School Leaving Prevention. The International Journal of Emotional Education 3(2): 3–36.

Ettner, Susan L. 2000. The Relationship Between Labor Market Outcomes and Physical and Mental Health: Exogenous Human Capital or Endogenous Health Production? The Economics of Disability 13: 1–31.

European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education. 2016. Early School Leaving and Learners With Disabilities and/or Special Educational Needs: A Review of the Research Evidence Focusing on Europe. Odense, Denmark.

Fibbi, Rosita, Mathias Lerch, and Philippe Wanner. 2006. Unemployment and Discrimination Against Youth of Immigrant Origin in Switzerland: When the Name Makes the Difference Children of Immigrants. Journal of International Migration and Integration 7(3): 351–366.

Fitzli, Dora, Max Grütter, Marie-Christina Fontana, Kathrin Koebel, and Simon Bock. 2016. Evaluation der Arbeitsmarktsituation und Weiterbildungsperspektive von Absolventen und Absolventinnen mit eidgenössischem Berufsattest (EBA). Bern: Staatssekretariat für Bildung, Forschung und Innovation (SBFI).

Gabadinho, Alexis, Gilbert Ritschard, Nicolas Séverin Mueller, and Matthias Studer. 2011. Analyzing and Visualizing State Sequences in R With TraMineR. Journal of Statistical Software 40(4): 1–37.

Gallie, Duncan and Serge Paugam. 2002. Social Precarity and Social Integration. Brussels: European Commission Directorate-General for Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Affairs.

Harnois, Gaston and Phyllis Gabriel. 2000. Mental Health and Work: Impact, Issues and Good Practices. Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO).

Holzner, Bernhard, Georg Kemmler, and Ullrich Meise. 1998. The Impact of Work-Related Rehabilitation on the Quality of Life of Patients With Schizophrenia. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 33(12): 624–631.

Humphrey, Neil, Ann Lendrum, Alexandra Barlow, Michael Wigelsworth, and Garry Squires. 2013. Achievement for All: Improving Psychosocial Outcomes for Students With Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities 34(4): 1210–1225.

ISCED. 1997. International Classification of Education. Paris: UNESCO.

Jackson, Margot I. 2015. Cumulative Inequality in Child Health and Academic Achievement. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 56(2): 262–280.

Jahoda, Marie. 1981. Work, Employment, and Unemployment: Values, Theories, and Approaches in Social Research. American Psychologist 36(2): 184–191.

Janosz, Michel, Isabelle Archambault, Julien Morizot, and Linda S. Pagani. 2008. School Engagement Trajectories and Their Differential Predictive Relations to Dropout. Journal of Social Issues 64(1): 21–40.

Kern, Lee, Steven W. Evans, Timothy J. Lewis. 2015. CARS Comprehensive Intervention for Secondary Students With Emotional and Behavioral Problems. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 23(4): 195–205.

Lesnard, Laurent. 2010. Setting Cost in Optimal Matching to Uncover Contemporaneous Socio-Temporal Patterns. Sociological Methods & Research 38(3): 389–419.

Levinson, Daphna, Lakoma, Matthew D., Petukhova, Maria, Schoenbaum, Michael, Zaslavsky, Alan M., Angermeyer, Matthias, Borges, Guilherme, Bruffaerts, Ronny, de Girolamo, Giovanni, de Graaf, Ron, Gureje, Oye, Haro, Josep Maria, Hu, Chiyi, Karam, Aimee N., Kawakami, Norito, Lee, Sing, Lepine, Jean-Pierre, Browne, Mark Oakley, Okoliyski, Michail, Posada-Villa, José, Sagar, Rajesh, Viana, Maria Carmen, Williams, David R., Kessler, Ronald C. 2010. Associations of Serious Mental Illness With Earnings: Results From the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. British Journal of Psychiatry 197(2): 114–121.

Macindoe, Heather and Andrew Abbott. 2004. Sequence Analysis and Optimal Matching Techniques for Social Science Data. Pp. 387–406 in Handbook of Data Analysis, edited by Melissa Hardy and Alan Bryman. Los Angeles/London: SAGE.

McIntyre, Roger S., Samantha Liauw, and Valerie H. Taylor. 2011. Depression in the Workforce: the Intermediary Effect of Comorbidity. Journal of Affective Disorders, 128(Suppl 1): 29–36.

McLeod, Jane D. and Elbert P. Almazan. 2003. Connections Between Childhood and Adulthood. Pp. 391–411 in Handbook of the Life Course, edited by Jeylan T. Mortimer and Michael J. Shanahan. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Merton, Robert K. 1959. Social Conformity, Deviation, and Opportunity Structures: A Comment on the Contributions of Dubin and Cloward. American Sociological Review 24(2): 177–189.

OECD. 2015. Fit Mind, Fit Job. Paris: OECD Publishing.

OECD. 2014. Making Mental Health Count. The Social and Economic Costs of Neglecting Mental Health Care. OECD Health Policy Studies. Paris: OECD Publishing.

OECD. 2012. Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities About Mental Health and Work, Mental Health and Work. Paris: OECD Publishing.

OECD. 2010. Off to a Good Start? Jobs for Youth. Paris: OECD Publishing.

OECD Statistics. 2013. http://stats.oecd.org/ (31.08.2017).

Patel, Vikram, Lund, Crick, Hatherill, Sean, Plagerson, Sophie, Corrigall, Joanne, Funk, Michelle, Flisher, Alan J. 2010. Mental Disorders: Equity and Social Determinants. Pp. 115–34 in Equity, Social Determinants and Public Health Programmes, edited by Erik Blas and Anand S. Kurup. Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO).

Pescosolido, Bernice A., Martin, Jack K., Long, J. Scott, Medina, Tait R., Phelan, Jo C., Link, Bruce G. 2010. “A Disease Like Any Other”? A Decade of Change in Public Reactions to Schizophrenia, Depression, and Alcohol Dependence. The American Journal of Psychiatry 167(11): 1321–1330.

Ranci, Costanzo. 2010. Social Vulnerability in Europe: The New Configuration of Social Risks. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Reavley, Nicola J. and Anthony F. Jorm. 2012. Public Recognition of Mental Disorders and Beliefs About Treatment: Changes in Australia Over 16 Years. The British Journal of Psychiatry 200(5): 419–425.

Richter, Dirk and Klaus Berger. 2013. Are Mental Disorders Increasing? Update of a Systematic Review on Repeated Cross-Sectional Studies. Psychiatrische Praxis 40: 176–182.

Rüesch, Peter, Jeanine Graf, Peter C. Meyer, Wulf Rössler, and Daniel Hell. 2004. Occupation, Social Support and Quality of Life in Persons With Schizophrenic or Affective Disorders. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 39: 686–694.

Rüesch, Peter, Peter C. Meyer, Jeanine Graf, and Daniel Hell. 2002. Beschäftigungslage von Schizophrenieund Affektkranken. Psychiatrische Praxis 29: 68–75.

SBFI. 2016. Vocational and Professional Education and Training in Switzerland. Facts and Figures 2016. Bern: Staatssekretariat für Bildung, Forschung und Innovation (SBFI).

SBFI. 2014. Zweijährige berufliche Grundbildung mit eidgenössischem Berufsattest. Leitfaden. Bern: Staatssekretariat für Bildung, Forschung und Innovation (SBFI).

Shavit, Yossi and Walter Müller. 2000. Vocational Secondary Education. European Societies 2(1): 29–50.

SKBF. 2014. Bildungsbericht 2014. Aarau: Schweizerische Koordinationsstelle für Bildungsforschung.

Smith, Emma and Graeme Douglas. 2014. Special Educational Needs, Disability and School Accountability: An International Perspective. International Journal of Inclusive Education 18(5): 443–458.

Spini, Dario, Laura Bernardi, and Michel Oris. 2017. Toward a Life Course Framework for Studying Vulnerability. Research in Human Development 14(1): 5–25.

Spini, Dario, Doris Hanappi, Laura Bernardi, Michel Oris, and Jean-François Bickel. 2013. Vulnerability Across the Life Course: A Theoretical Framework and Research Directions. LIVES Working Papers 27(27): 1–38.

Turney, Kristin and Sara McLanahan. 2015. The Academic Consequences of Early Childhood Problem Behaviors. Social Science Research 54: 131–145.

United Nations. 2008. Übereinkommen über die Rechte von Menschen mit Behinderungen (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – CRPD). Geneva: United Nations.

Veldman, Karin, Sijmen A. Reijneveld, Josue Almansa Ortiz, Frank C. Verhulst, and Ute Bültmann. 2015. Mental Health Trajectories From Childhood to Young Adulthood Affect the Educational and Employment Status of Young Adults: Results From the TRAILS Study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 69(6): 588–593.

WHO. 1992. The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines. Genève: World Health Organization (WHO).

Swiss Journal of Sociology

Revue Suisse de sociologie/ Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Soziologie

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.40

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.181
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.975


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 71 71 27
PDF Downloads 53 53 18