Table of Contents
ISRN Family Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 978250, 7 pages
Research Article

Long-Term Parental Unemployment in Childhood and Subsequent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

1Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, 246 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A1
2Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1V7
3Theodore J. Freedman Department of Social Work, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1X5

Received 30 November 2012; Accepted 24 December 2012

Academic Editors: Z. Aktuerk and S. Byford

Copyright © 2013 Esme Fuller-Thomson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The association between long-term parental unemployment in childhood and chronic fatigue syndrome was examined in a population-based sample of women. Methods. A secondary analysis of data from a regionally representative sample of women ( ) from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2005) was conducted using logistic regression. Age and race as well as the following clusters of factors were controlled for: (1) other childhood adversities, (2) adult health behaviors and hypertension, (3) adult stressors and socioeconomic status, and (4) adult mental health. Results. When adjusting for age and race only, the odds ratio of chronic fatigue syndrome among those reporting parental unemployment was 4.12 (95% CI: 2.60, 6.52) compared to those not reporting parental unemployment. When controlling for age and race plus all four clusters of factors the odds ratio for chronic fatigue syndrome dropped slightly to 3.05 (95% CI: 1.81, 5.14), but remained statistically significant. Conclusions. This study provides evidence for a significant association between long-term parental unemployment in childhood and chronic fatigue syndrome even after controlling for a wide range of potential risk factors.