The objective of this study was to prospectively examine whether parental socioeconomic position (SEP) and parental life satisfaction predict job strain in adulthood.
The cohort comprised 755 participants from the ongoing Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. The parents reported their SEP and life satisfaction when the participants were aged 6-21 years. Eighteen years later at ages 24-39 years, the participants responded to a survey on job strain and its components, job control and job demands.
According to structural equation modeling, lower parental SEP and higher parental life dissatisfaction independently predicted increased adulthood job strain. Lower parental SEP also predicted lower educational attainment, which in turn was linked with higher job strain and lower job control. We found no gender differences in these predictive relationships.
Parental SEP and parental life satisfaction are associated with job strain in adulthood, and the effect is partly mediated by education. These prospective data suggest that preemployment factors should be taken into account as potential confounders in future research on job strain-health associations.