JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Gender difference of relationship between occupational stress and depressive symptoms]

Shan-fa Yu, Gui-zhen Gu, Wen-hui Zhou, Shi-yi Zhou, Xiao-fa Yang, Shi-yi Sun
Chinese Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Diseases 2011, 29 (12): 887-92
22357526

OBJECTIVE: To explore gender difference of relationship between occupational stress and depressive symptoms.

METHODS: The cross-sectional study was used to investigate 5338 workers in 13 factories and companies, the depressive symptoms were assessed with Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the perceived occupational stress was evaluated by the Chinese version of the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) and Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) Model Questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to estimate the associations between occupational stress and prevalence of depressive symptoms.

RESULTS: Prevalence of depressive symptoms was 31.8% for all subjects, 33.8% for males and 27.7% for females, gender difference of prevalence was significant (P < 0.01). Psychological demands, physical demands, job control, effort, overcommitment and negative affectivity scores for males were significantly higher than those for females(P < 0.01 or 0.05), social support, reward and job satisfaction scores for males were significantly lower than those for females (P < 0.01). Psychological demands, physical demands, job control, effort, overcommitment and negative affectivity scores for workers with depressive symptoms were significantly higher than those for workers without depressive symptoms (P < 0.01) but job control, social support, reward, job satisfaction and positive affectivity scores for workers with depressive symptoms were significantly lower than those for without depressive symptoms (P < 0.01). Psychological demands, physical demands, job control, effort, overcommitment and negative affectivity scores for male workers with depressive symptoms were significantly higher than those for female counterparts (P < 0.01), but social support, reward, job satisfaction scores for male workers with depressive symptoms were significantly lower than hose for female workers with depressive symptoms (P < 0.01). Ratio of male workers and male workers with depressive symptoms with job strain and ERI > 1, high demands and low control, and high effort and low reward were higher than female counterparts (P < 0.01). The risk of depressive symptoms for female with high demands and low control was about two times as high as that for female workers with low demands and high control for psychological demands and physical demands (OR = 2.0), risk for females was slightly higher than that for males (OR = 2.04 and 2.17, respectively). The risk of depressive symptoms for workers with high efforts and low rewards was about two times as high as that for workers with low efforts and high rewards (OR = 1.70). No interactive effect between gender and job strain and ERI on depressive symptoms were found.

CONCLUSION: The gender difference of relationship between depressive symptom prevalence and job strain may due to the difference of psychosocial factors between females and males. There may be no interactive effect between psychosocial factors and gender on depressive symptoms.

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