New report by UCL Institute of Education found that the instable work was more likely to have an impact on their physical health too.
A rise in the use of zero hours contracts could be contributing to poor mental health among younger people, a new study suggests.
Young adults who are employed on the controversial contracts, under which they do not know if they have work from one week to the next, are less likely to be in good health and are at higher risk of poor mental health than workers with stable jobs.
Researchers from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the UCL Institute of Education analysed data on more than 7,700 people living in England & Wales who were born in 1989-90.
A total of 5% had zero hours contracts.
Researchers found that those employed under zero hours contracts were 50% more likely to report poor mental health than those in more secure employment.
The unemployed and shift workers were also more likely to report mental ill health.
Meanwhile, compared to those who were not on such a contract, having a zero hours contract reduced the odds of reporting good health by 41%.
“More people than ever are working on zero hours contracts in the UK, and this new data shows this to be contributing to poorer mental health among younger workers,” said Craig Thorley, senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research.
“Efforts to improve the UK’s mental health must recognise the important relationship between health and work.
“Government and employers must work together to promote better quality jobs which enhance, rather than damage, mental health and wellbeing.
“Without this, we risk seeing increased demand for mental health services, reduced productivity, and more young people moving on to out-of-work sickness benefits.”
Article by Ella Pickover