Edited by Mikaela Backman, Charlie Karlsson and Orsa Kekezi
We analyze work-related stress levels of older self-employed workers and compare their stress levels with those of older wageworkers and younger self-employed workers. Our multivariate analysis using longitudinal data for the years 2005–15 indicates that the older self-employed have the lowest stress levels. Using the Job Demand-Control (JDC) model we assess to what extent these lower stress levels can be explained by the following job characteristics: job demand, job control, social support and possibilities for the development of skills at the job. We find that the lower stress levels of the older (versus the younger) self-employed are partly explained by the lower job demands of the older self-employed. Furthermore, higher job control of the older self-employed is a major driver behind the lower levels of work stress of the older self-employed workers compared with the older wageworkers. Also, lower levels of job demand and higher levels of social support of the older self-employed partly explain that the older self-employed experience less work stress than older wageworkers.
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