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Working conditions as risk factors for depressive symptoms among spanish speaking au-pairs living in Germany
Working conditions as risk factors for depressive symptoms among spanish speaking au-pairs living in Germany
Background: The number of au-pairs in Germany has been increasing in the past years. In 2019, 15,000 au-pairs were registered in Germany, with Colombians being the largest group (9.2%). The lack of a working protection law due to immigration status (au-pairs’ visa) and the structural dependency of the employer/host family may contribute to au-pairs’ poor working conditions and poor mental health. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to assess the occurrence of depressive symptoms and its association with sociodemographic characteristics, working condi-tions, and violence at work overtime among Spanish speaking au-pairs (SSA) living in Germany. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study. Data was collected from August 2018 to April 2020. A total of 409 participants fulfilled the inclusion criteria for the cross-sectional analysis and 189 participants for the follow-up analysis. Depressive symptoms were assessed by the de-pression module Patient Health Questionnaire. Poisson regression model and Generalized Esti-mating Equations were applied to estimate the association between predictors and depressive symptoms. Results: Forty percent of SSA living in Germany were between 22 and 24 years old, 91% were female, and 48% came from Colombia. In the cross-sectional analysis, experienced au-pairs pre-sented a higher prevalence of depressive syndromes (30% vs. 16%; p <0.001) than newcomer au-pairs. Over time, working more than forty hours per week (OR: 3.47; 95% 95%CI: 1.46–8.28), suffering physical violence (OR: 4.95; 95% CI: 2.16–9.75), and struggling to adapt au-pairs schedules to social and family activities were associated with depressive symptoms. Conclusion: Poor working conditions were associated with higher prevalence of depressive symptoms among SSA living in Germany. These results may be used to create awareness among policy makers and au-pairs’ agencies as well as to develop interventions on working con-ditions to prevent poor mental health.
Au pair, caregivers, migrants, working conditions, depressive symptoms, Major Depressive Syndrome, Latin American, Spanish-speaking migrants.
Espinoza Castro, Bernarda Cristina
2022
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Espinoza Castro, Bernarda Cristina (2022): Working conditions as risk factors for depressive symptoms among spanish speaking au-pairs living in Germany. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background: The number of au-pairs in Germany has been increasing in the past years. In 2019, 15,000 au-pairs were registered in Germany, with Colombians being the largest group (9.2%). The lack of a working protection law due to immigration status (au-pairs’ visa) and the structural dependency of the employer/host family may contribute to au-pairs’ poor working conditions and poor mental health. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to assess the occurrence of depressive symptoms and its association with sociodemographic characteristics, working condi-tions, and violence at work overtime among Spanish speaking au-pairs (SSA) living in Germany. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study. Data was collected from August 2018 to April 2020. A total of 409 participants fulfilled the inclusion criteria for the cross-sectional analysis and 189 participants for the follow-up analysis. Depressive symptoms were assessed by the de-pression module Patient Health Questionnaire. Poisson regression model and Generalized Esti-mating Equations were applied to estimate the association between predictors and depressive symptoms. Results: Forty percent of SSA living in Germany were between 22 and 24 years old, 91% were female, and 48% came from Colombia. In the cross-sectional analysis, experienced au-pairs pre-sented a higher prevalence of depressive syndromes (30% vs. 16%; p <0.001) than newcomer au-pairs. Over time, working more than forty hours per week (OR: 3.47; 95% 95%CI: 1.46–8.28), suffering physical violence (OR: 4.95; 95% CI: 2.16–9.75), and struggling to adapt au-pairs schedules to social and family activities were associated with depressive symptoms. Conclusion: Poor working conditions were associated with higher prevalence of depressive symptoms among SSA living in Germany. These results may be used to create awareness among policy makers and au-pairs’ agencies as well as to develop interventions on working con-ditions to prevent poor mental health.