Psychosocial work stress during pregnancy and birthweight

Bo Eun Lee, Mina Ha, Hyesook Park, Yun Chul Hong, Yangho Kim, Young Ju Kim, Eun Hee Ha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Although there is a growing interest in the health effects of psychosocial work stress, studies on the relationships between job stress and adverse reproductive outcome are limited. We, therefore, investigated the associations between prenatal maternal occupational stress and birthweight using 310 mother-infant pairs included in the Mothers and Children's Environmental Health (MOCEH) study. Information on job stress was collected by interviewing women at enrolment during the first trimester of pregnancy using standardised questionnaires, namely, the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) of job strain and effort-reward imbalance (ERI) questionnaires. Regression analyses were carried out. Decision latitude scores of the JCQ were found to be positively related to birthweight, while ERI ratios determined using the ERI model were found to be inversely related to gestational age. In addition, a passive job as defined by the job strain model was found to be associated with a lower birthweight, compared with a relaxed job. These results suggest that work-related psychosocial stress in pregnant women appears to affect birth outcomes, such as birthweight and gestational age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-254
Number of pages9
JournalPaediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • birthweight
  • gestational age
  • pregnancy
  • work stress


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