Occupational stress and depression in Korean employees

Jung Jin Cho, Ji Yong Kim, Sei Jin Chang, Nancy Fiedler, Sangbaek Koh, Benjamin F. Crabtree, Dong Mug Kang, Yong Kyu Kim, Young Ho Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to analyze what aspects of occupational stress predict depression among Korean workers, and determine which components of occupational stress or job characteristics is more strongly associated with depression. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 8,522 workers (21-65 years of age) from a nationwide sample were recruited. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess socio-demographics, job characteristics, depressive symptoms measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and occupational stress assessed by the Korean occupational stress scale (KOSS). Results: Multivariate analyses show that inadequate social support (OR = 1.58, 95% CI = 1.52, 1.66) and discomfort in occupational climate (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.18, 1.32) were more important risk factors for depression than organizational injustice, job demand and job control. Compared to the 'business activities' industries, 'recreational, cultural and sporting activities' (OR = 3.45, 95% CI = 1.80, 6.58), 'hotel and restaurants' (OR = 3.34, 95% CI = 1.92, 5.80), 'real estate and renting and leasing' (OR = 2.24, 95% CI = 1.13, 4.44), 'wholesale and retail' (OR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.28, 2.67), 'transportation' (OR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.11, 3.07), and 'financial institute and insurance' (OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.04, 2.48) industries had significantly greater risk of depression after controlling for gender, age, marital status, duration of employment and all subscale of KOSS. Conclusion: The finding that inadequate social support and discomfort in occupational climate is a better predictor of depressive symptoms than organizational injustice in Korea, indicates that the newly developed KOSS has cultural relevance for assessing occupational stress in Korea. Future studies need to understand factors such as "emotional labor" within certain industries where increased risk for depression is observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume82
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct 1

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Depression
Industry
Korea
Climate
Social Support
Restaurants
Marital Status
Insurance
Epidemiologic Studies
Multivariate Analysis
Cross-Sectional Studies
Demography

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Cho, Jung Jin ; Kim, Ji Yong ; Chang, Sei Jin ; Fiedler, Nancy ; Koh, Sangbaek ; Crabtree, Benjamin F. ; Kang, Dong Mug ; Kim, Yong Kyu ; Choi, Young Ho. / Occupational stress and depression in Korean employees. In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. 2008 ; Vol. 82, No. 1. pp. 47-57.
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abstract = "Purpose: The purpose of this study is to analyze what aspects of occupational stress predict depression among Korean workers, and determine which components of occupational stress or job characteristics is more strongly associated with depression. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 8,522 workers (21-65 years of age) from a nationwide sample were recruited. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess socio-demographics, job characteristics, depressive symptoms measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and occupational stress assessed by the Korean occupational stress scale (KOSS). Results: Multivariate analyses show that inadequate social support (OR = 1.58, 95{\%} CI = 1.52, 1.66) and discomfort in occupational climate (OR = 1.25, 95{\%} CI = 1.18, 1.32) were more important risk factors for depression than organizational injustice, job demand and job control. Compared to the 'business activities' industries, 'recreational, cultural and sporting activities' (OR = 3.45, 95{\%} CI = 1.80, 6.58), 'hotel and restaurants' (OR = 3.34, 95{\%} CI = 1.92, 5.80), 'real estate and renting and leasing' (OR = 2.24, 95{\%} CI = 1.13, 4.44), 'wholesale and retail' (OR = 1.85, 95{\%} CI = 1.28, 2.67), 'transportation' (OR = 1.85, 95{\%} CI = 1.11, 3.07), and 'financial institute and insurance' (OR = 1.60, 95{\%} CI = 1.04, 2.48) industries had significantly greater risk of depression after controlling for gender, age, marital status, duration of employment and all subscale of KOSS. Conclusion: The finding that inadequate social support and discomfort in occupational climate is a better predictor of depressive symptoms than organizational injustice in Korea, indicates that the newly developed KOSS has cultural relevance for assessing occupational stress in Korea. Future studies need to understand factors such as {"}emotional labor{"} within certain industries where increased risk for depression is observed.",
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Cho, JJ, Kim, JY, Chang, SJ, Fiedler, N, Koh, S, Crabtree, BF, Kang, DM, Kim, YK & Choi, YH 2008, 'Occupational stress and depression in Korean employees', International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, vol. 82, no. 1, pp. 47-57. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-008-0306-4

Occupational stress and depression in Korean employees. / Cho, Jung Jin; Kim, Ji Yong; Chang, Sei Jin; Fiedler, Nancy; Koh, Sangbaek; Crabtree, Benjamin F.; Kang, Dong Mug; Kim, Yong Kyu; Choi, Young Ho.

In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Vol. 82, No. 1, 01.10.2008, p. 47-57.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Cho, Jung Jin

AU - Kim, Ji Yong

AU - Chang, Sei Jin

AU - Fiedler, Nancy

AU - Koh, Sangbaek

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AU - Kang, Dong Mug

AU - Kim, Yong Kyu

AU - Choi, Young Ho

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N2 - Purpose: The purpose of this study is to analyze what aspects of occupational stress predict depression among Korean workers, and determine which components of occupational stress or job characteristics is more strongly associated with depression. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 8,522 workers (21-65 years of age) from a nationwide sample were recruited. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess socio-demographics, job characteristics, depressive symptoms measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and occupational stress assessed by the Korean occupational stress scale (KOSS). Results: Multivariate analyses show that inadequate social support (OR = 1.58, 95% CI = 1.52, 1.66) and discomfort in occupational climate (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.18, 1.32) were more important risk factors for depression than organizational injustice, job demand and job control. Compared to the 'business activities' industries, 'recreational, cultural and sporting activities' (OR = 3.45, 95% CI = 1.80, 6.58), 'hotel and restaurants' (OR = 3.34, 95% CI = 1.92, 5.80), 'real estate and renting and leasing' (OR = 2.24, 95% CI = 1.13, 4.44), 'wholesale and retail' (OR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.28, 2.67), 'transportation' (OR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.11, 3.07), and 'financial institute and insurance' (OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.04, 2.48) industries had significantly greater risk of depression after controlling for gender, age, marital status, duration of employment and all subscale of KOSS. Conclusion: The finding that inadequate social support and discomfort in occupational climate is a better predictor of depressive symptoms than organizational injustice in Korea, indicates that the newly developed KOSS has cultural relevance for assessing occupational stress in Korea. Future studies need to understand factors such as "emotional labor" within certain industries where increased risk for depression is observed.

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