Social Indicators Research
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Published By Springer-Verlag

1573-0921, 0303-8300

Angelo d’Errico ◽  
Chiara Ardito ◽  
Roberto Leombruni ◽  
Fulvio Ricceri ◽  
Giuseppe Costa ◽  

AbstractIn many European countries requirements for retirement have been tightened, causing an increase in work participation of older workers, in spite their potentially poorer health may limit their work ability. This study aimed at assessing the diffusion of health problems and exposure to unfavorable working conditions among ageing workers in two Italian surveys, as well as comparing them with those observed in the same surveys conducted before the 2011 Italian pension reform tightening the normal retirement age. The 2013 National Health Survey (NHS) and Labour Force Survey (LFS) were employed to assess the prevalence of poor perceived health, health conditions and functional limitations, and of exposure to physical, psychosocial and organization factors at work, among 60–64 years workers. Poisson regression models were used to estimate Prevalence Ratios of health outcomes and unfavorable working conditions in the two surveys, compared to data from the 2005 (NHS) and 2007 (LFS) corresponding surveys, respectively. Among both men and women, approximately one quarter had at least one physical disorder or functional limitations and 15% poor mental health. Exposure to different ergonomic factors (15–30%) and working during unsocial hours (19%) were particularly diffused. A significant increase in the prevalence of functional limitations and of working at night or during unsocial hours was found in 2013, compared to corresponding data from 2005 and 2007, respectively. Our results indicate that exposure to ergonomic and organizational hazards should be reduced among ageing workers, to avoid decreased work ability, health damage or early exit from the labour market.

Ildikó Husz ◽  
Marianna Kopasz ◽  
Márton Medgyesi

AbstractSocial workers may play an important role in the implementation of welfare policies targeted at the poor. Their norms, beliefs, and attitudes form local anti-poverty programmes and affect discretionary practices with their clients. Despite this, we know little about how social workers’ exposure to poverty shapes their attitudes towards poverty and their causal attributions for poverty. This study investigates social workers’ poverty explanations and the extent to which they depend on the level of local poverty. Data from a survey conducted among Hungarian social workers were analysed using multilevel linear regression models. To measure local poverty, we used a composite index of poverty, as well as a subjective measure of exposure to poverty. Our analysis revealed that most social workers explained poverty with structural causes, but individual blame was also frequent. Contrary to our hypothesis, the level of local poverty did not significantly increase the adoption of structural explanations but did raise the occurrence of individualistic ones. However, the effect of local poverty was non-linear: social workers tended to blame the poor for their poverty in the poorest municipalities, where multiple disadvantages are concentrated, while moderate poverty did not lead to such opinions. Our results suggest that efforts should be made to improve the poverty indicator framework to better understand the phenomenon of spatial concentration of multiple disadvantages and its consequences for the poor.

Emma Beacom ◽  
Sinéad Furey ◽  
Lynsey Hollywood ◽  
Paul Humphreys

AbstractPrior to the February 2019 announcement that the Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM) will be used to estimate household food insecurity, there has not been a standardised measurement approach used in the United Kingdom (UK). Measurement has instead been somewhat inconsistent, and various indicators have been included in national and regional surveys. There remains a gap relating to the comparative usefulness of current and past food insecurity measures used in Northern Ireland (NI) (HFSSM; European Union-Survey of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) food deprivation questions), and the potential usefulness of a headline indicator similar to that used to measure fuel poverty. This study presents findings from Northern Ireland (NI) stakeholder interviews (n = 19), which examined their perspectives on food insecurity measures which have previously been or are currently, or could potentially, be used in the UK/NI (HFSSM; EU-SILC food deprivation questions; headline indicator). Interview transcripts were coded using QSR NVivo (v.12) and inductively analysed to identify relevant themes. Stakeholders preferred the HFSSM to the EU-SILC, reasoning that it is more relevant to the food insecurity experience. A headline indicator for food insecurity was considered useful by some; however, there was consensus that it would not fully encapsulate the food insecurity experience, particularly the social exclusion element, and that it would be a complex measure to construct, with a high degree of error. This research endorses the use of the HFSSM to measure food insecurity in the UK, and provides recommendations for consideration of any future modification of the HFSSM or EU-SILC measurement instruments.

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