Self-rated health and sickness-related absence: the modifying role of civic participation
Title: Self-rated health and sickness-related absence: the modifying role of civic participation
Citation: Social science & medicine, 2010, Vol. 70, No. 4, pp. 570-574
In this study, we examined civic participation as an effect modifier between self-rated health and absence from work. Building on the theoretical framework of social exchange, we use German data to test a conceptual model relating self-rated health to sickness-related absence, as well as the interaction between self-rated health and civic participation. We used the 1996 wave of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study. Since sickness-related absence is a censored variable, we used a tobit regression model. The results confirmed the hypotheses: the effect between self-rated health and sickness-related absence was modified by civic participation, indicating that the effect of self-rated health on sickness-related absence is less pronounced for people who participate more as opposed to those who report less civic participation. In other words, those who are unhealthy and participate more, are fewer days absent from work. We argue that civic participation buffers the relationship between self-rated health and sickness-related absence because those who participate more have more resources to fulfill self-regulatory needs Our findings emphasize the importance of civic participation outside the workplace for people at work when they do not feel physically well.
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