Gender and age differences in the association between work stress and incident depressive symptoms among Korean employees: a cohort study

Sun Young Kim, Young Chul Shin, Kang Seob Oh, Dong Won Shin, Weon Jeong Lim, Sung Joon Cho, Sang Won Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify gender- and age-specific occupational stress associated with depressive symptoms among Korean employees. Methods: Data of 73,014 employees aged 18 and above who had undergone comprehensive health examinations at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital Health Screening Center, South Korea, in January 2012 and who were followed up until December 2017 were collected, and 63,959 (participation rate: 87.59%, men: 50,413, women: 13,546) were finally analyzed. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals of the relationship between occupational stress and depressive symptoms. In light of gender and age differences in the association between occupational stress and depressive symptoms, interaction and stratification by gender and age groups were tested. Results: During 238,630 person-years of follow-up, case-level depressive symptoms developed in 4227 participants (an incident rate of 1.8%). There were gender differences in the relationship between job stress and incident depressive symptoms. For men, high job demand, job insecurity, lack of reward, and discomfort in their organizational climate were associated with incident depressive symptoms in all age groups. Insufficient job control was associated with the development of depressive symptoms only in midlife and organizational injustice only in early adulthood. For women, the results for high job demand, organizational injustice, and discomfort in an organizational climate were associated with the onset of depressive symptoms from early adulthood to the midlife decade. Conclusion: The results suggest gender and age differences in the relationship between occupational stress and incident depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-467
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume93
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2020

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Gender
  • Life span
  • Occupational stress

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