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Psychosocial Factors and Health (Social Epidemiology)

Introduction

Social Epidemiology deals with the significance of psychological factors in the individual, the social conditions in which the individual lives and the social surroundings on health and well-being.

It covers both the direct associations between psychosocial factors and health and the mediating roles affecting relationships between other risk factors and health. Thus, social epidemiology focus on the study of bio-psycho-social and environmental factors, that is related to a variety of somatic and psychological consequences.

The RIG has mainly worked within social inequality, but also with other social factors such as social capital and loneliness - and thus also focused on the effect on mental health (in young and older) and a variety of consequences (drug consumption, heart disease, psychiatric illness, welfare etc.).

Another area of work is stress in both its methodological and practical sense. The group hosts the Danish translation of the ”effort-reward imbalance” questionnaire and has been working with measurement of stress and other exposures in epidemiology and survey data.

The group also focuses on understanding how psychosocial factors work, and thus combines epidemiological with qualitative research.

In addition, psychosocial working conditions and the conditions of older workers is another area of focus of the RIG on Psychosocial Factors and Health.

The main areas of research in this research group are:

  • Social inequality and the ways it is mediated
  • Psychological factors like sense of coherence, coping and defense styles
  • Psychosocial stress in daily life and work
  • Social relations, loneliness and social capital
  • Life course exposures
  • Sleep and work-life interactions as a public health problem
  • Shift work and health
  • Health Literacy

Larger programs in which the RIG-members participate

  • Ageing and physical work (Aldring og Fysisk Arbejde (ALFA)) examining craftsmen turning 50-60