International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health

, 82:397

Job stress and depressive symptoms among Korean employees: the effects of culture on work

Authors

  • Shin-Goo Park
    • Department of Occupational and Environmental MedicineInha University Hospital
  • Kyoung-Bok Min
    • Department of Occupational and Environmental MedicineAjou University School of Medicine
  • Sei-Jin Chang
    • Department of Preventive Medicine and Institute of Occupational MedicineWonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University
  • Hwan-Cheol Kim
    • Department of Occupational and Environmental MedicineInha University Hospital
    • Institute of Health and EnvironmentSeoul National University
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00420-008-0347-8

Cite this article as:
Park, S., Min, K., Chang, S. et al. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2009) 82: 397. doi:10.1007/s00420-008-0347-8

Abstract

Objective

This study was conducted to investigate the association between depressive symptoms and job stress, as measured by the KOSS, among Korean employees in small- and medium-sized enterprises, and examined which components of stress are involved in the risk for depression among males and females.

Methods

Data were collected from a work-stress survey of full-time employees of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Incheon, South Korea. A total of 3,013 participants were included in the analysis. Job stress was measured using 24 items (7 sub-scales) of the short form of Korean occupational stress scale (KOSS-SF), and depressive symptoms were evaluated using Center for epidemiologic studies depression scale (CES-D).

Results

After adjustment for confounding variables, most of subscales of job stress contributed to an increased risk of depressive symptoms, and job insecurity (male; OR = 2.02, 95%CI: 1.61–2.40, female; OR = 1.95, 95%CI: 1.42–2.70) and occupational climate (male; OR = 1.84, 95%CI: 1.49–2.28, female; OR = 1.78, 95%CI: 1.30–2.49) showed strong associations in both male and female. Other subscales revealed different effects for males and females; for males, job demands (OR = 1.68, 95%CI: 1.43–2.20), inadequate social support (OR = 1.55, 95%CI: 1.23–1.94), and lack of rewards (OR = 1.88, 95%CI: 1.48–2.37) were associated with depressive symptoms, whereas for females, organizational injustice (OR = 1.62, 95%CI: 1.14–2.30) was associated with depressive symptoms.

Conclusion

These results indicate that job stress may play a significant role in increasing the risk of depressive symptoms, and that further preventive efforts and research are needed to reduce job stress and address health problems caused by job stress among Korean employees.

Keywords

Job stress KOSS-SF CES-D Work culture Korea

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008