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Work ability of Chinese migrant workers: the influence of migration characteristics.

Han L, Shi L, Lu L, Ling L - BMC Public Health (2014)

Bottom Line: The result shows that among migration characteristics, social support was significantly associated with all three dimensions of the work ability index.Permanent migration intention and longer length of migration were negatively associated with the mental resource dimension of WAI.The findings of this study suggest that expanding migrants' social networks and social support systems in their work place or living community, (i.e. expanding the functions of labor unions) would be an effective way to improve migrant workers' work ability.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510405, China. lingli@mail.sysu.edu.cn.

ABSTRACT

Background: Migrant workers have become a vital labor supply to China's economy. Their migration process and work conditions may influence their health and work ability. The work ability of migrant workers in China and the influence of the migration process on work ability have not been explored extensively in previous studies. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association of migration characteristics and work-related factors with work ability among migrant workers in the Pearl River Delta.

Methods: In this cross-sectional survey, the study population consisted of 907 migrant workers from ten factories in the Pearl River Delta who were exposed to organic solvents during work. The primary dependent variable of the study was work ability, measured by the Work Ability Index (WAI). The independent variables were individual characteristics, migration characteristics, and work-related factors. Logistic regression models were used to determine the influence of different factors on work ability and three dimensions of WAI.

Results: The result shows that among migration characteristics, social support was significantly associated with all three dimensions of the work ability index. Permanent migration intention and longer length of migration were negatively associated with the mental resource dimension of WAI. WAI was also influenced by individual and work-related factors.

Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that expanding migrants' social networks and social support systems in their work place or living community, (i.e. expanding the functions of labor unions) would be an effective way to improve migrant workers' work ability. Improving of migrant workers' physical and psychosocial related work environments would also increase their work ability.

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Social support scores among four grade of WAI.
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Figure 1: Social support scores among four grade of WAI.

Mentions: Social support comes from spouses, children, family members, colleagues, and friends. In China, most people migrate individually, or only with several close family members, since the living cost in urban cities is high. Thus the support from the family may be weak. But it is well-known in China that numerous migrant communities (or migrant village) have been established in big cities, some of which have been developed, demolished and eventually reconstruction [10,29]. Most of these migrant communities have been organized around migrants’ common place of origin, while some have been organized around urban occupation (e.g. factory workers, construction workers), leading to increased camaraderie and mutual support [10]. Results from a study in Hangzhou show that 71.5% of migrants seek help from friends and colleagues when they need help [7]. This result reveals the importance of social support on work ability, which makes it possible to improve migrant workers’ work ability by promoting social support, not only from family members, but also via other sources, such as labor union and local communities (Figures 1 and 2).


Work ability of Chinese migrant workers: the influence of migration characteristics.

Han L, Shi L, Lu L, Ling L - BMC Public Health (2014)

Social support scores among four grade of WAI.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4020317&req=5

Figure 1: Social support scores among four grade of WAI.
Mentions: Social support comes from spouses, children, family members, colleagues, and friends. In China, most people migrate individually, or only with several close family members, since the living cost in urban cities is high. Thus the support from the family may be weak. But it is well-known in China that numerous migrant communities (or migrant village) have been established in big cities, some of which have been developed, demolished and eventually reconstruction [10,29]. Most of these migrant communities have been organized around migrants’ common place of origin, while some have been organized around urban occupation (e.g. factory workers, construction workers), leading to increased camaraderie and mutual support [10]. Results from a study in Hangzhou show that 71.5% of migrants seek help from friends and colleagues when they need help [7]. This result reveals the importance of social support on work ability, which makes it possible to improve migrant workers’ work ability by promoting social support, not only from family members, but also via other sources, such as labor union and local communities (Figures 1 and 2).

Bottom Line: The result shows that among migration characteristics, social support was significantly associated with all three dimensions of the work ability index.Permanent migration intention and longer length of migration were negatively associated with the mental resource dimension of WAI.The findings of this study suggest that expanding migrants' social networks and social support systems in their work place or living community, (i.e. expanding the functions of labor unions) would be an effective way to improve migrant workers' work ability.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510405, China. lingli@mail.sysu.edu.cn.

ABSTRACT

Background: Migrant workers have become a vital labor supply to China's economy. Their migration process and work conditions may influence their health and work ability. The work ability of migrant workers in China and the influence of the migration process on work ability have not been explored extensively in previous studies. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association of migration characteristics and work-related factors with work ability among migrant workers in the Pearl River Delta.

Methods: In this cross-sectional survey, the study population consisted of 907 migrant workers from ten factories in the Pearl River Delta who were exposed to organic solvents during work. The primary dependent variable of the study was work ability, measured by the Work Ability Index (WAI). The independent variables were individual characteristics, migration characteristics, and work-related factors. Logistic regression models were used to determine the influence of different factors on work ability and three dimensions of WAI.

Results: The result shows that among migration characteristics, social support was significantly associated with all three dimensions of the work ability index. Permanent migration intention and longer length of migration were negatively associated with the mental resource dimension of WAI. WAI was also influenced by individual and work-related factors.

Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that expanding migrants' social networks and social support systems in their work place or living community, (i.e. expanding the functions of labor unions) would be an effective way to improve migrant workers' work ability. Improving of migrant workers' physical and psychosocial related work environments would also increase their work ability.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus