The impact of occupation according to income on depressive symptoms in South Korean individuals: Findings from the Korean Welfare Panel Study

Woorim Kim, Eun Cheol Park, Tae Hoon Lee, Yeong Jun Ju, Jaeyong Shin, Sang Gyu Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In South Korea, societal perceptions on occupation are distinct, with people favouring white collar jobs. Hence both occupation type and income can have mental health effects. Aim: To examine the relationship between occupational classification and depression, along with the combined effect of occupational classification and household income. Methods: Data were from the Korean Welfare Panel Study (KOWEPS), 2010-2013. A total of 4,694 economically active participants at baseline were followed. Association between occupational classification and depression, measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale 11, was investigated using the linear mixed effects model. Results: Blue collar (β: 0.3871, p =.0109) and sales and service worker groups (β: 0.3418, p =.0307) showed higher depression scores than the white collar group. Compared to the white collar high-income group, white collar low income, blue collar middle income, blue collar middle-low income, blue collar low income, sales and service middle-high income, sales and service middle-low income and sales and service low-income groups had higher depression scores. Conclusion: Occupational classification is associated with increasing depression scores. Excluding the highest income group, blue collar and sales and service worker groups exhibit higher depression scores than their white collar counterparts, implying the importance of addressing these groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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