In the study, the researchers compared life outcomes of 11,680 men to the job expectations they held as high school seniors in the early 1980s.
The study, published in JAMA Network Open, is the first to link the rise in suicide and drug-poisoning deaths among men without a college degree to declines in working-class jobs.
“It’s possible that occupational expectations developed in adolescence serve as a benchmark for perceptions of adult success and, when unmet, pose a risk of self-injury.”.
The study showed that neither educational attainment nor the actual job worked increased risk for death by self-injury.
Furthermore, unmet occupational expectations were not associated with a higher risk of an early death by natural or other causes.
This comparison further strengthened their conclusions about a link between a decline of working-class jobs and deaths of despair.
“Our findings suggest closed pathways to sustaining working-class jobs may contribute to men’s increasing rates of suicide and drug-poisoning mortality,” Muller said. »