Jobs, mental health and family responsibilities: an extended administrative data study of occupations, mental health and mortality among the NI population and examination of the role of the COVID-19 pandemic


The proposed study is aligned with the ongoing ADR ‘OCCUMEN Study’ which examines the prevalence and correlates of mental disorders (MDs) across occupational categories. This related study will examine sex-specific temporal trends in mental disorders and causes of death across occupation types before and following the onset of the Covid-19 (C-19) pandemic and examine associations with family responsibilities.


We will examine the C-19 mental health impact on people within specific occupational groups, with a focus on (1) changes in the prevalence and patterns of MDs in the general working population in relation to sociodemographic and socioeconomic circumstances; and (2) mental health among potentially high-risk occupational groups (health and social care staff for example) and their association with family responsibilities.

The study will address the following key research questions:

  1. What are the trends in the prevalence of MD among the NI working population in the years prior to and following the onset of the C-19 pandemic? How does this compare to rates among the general population?
  2. Which occupation types indicate greater risk of deteriorating mental health during the pandemic period?
  3. Have health care staff and other key occupational groups been more adversely affected in terms of their mental health than other workers, during the pandemic period?
  4. What are the temporal trends in MD relating to the interaction of family responsibilities with occupation types in the years prior to and following the onset of the pandemic?
  5. What is the relationship between mortality (all cause and cause-specific) and occupation type and is this association modified by MD?
Research Team: Michael Rosato, Finola Ferry, Emma Curran, Gerry Leavey
Database: ADR
Project Status: Active
Organisation(s): Ulster University