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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effective resources for improving mental health among Chinese underground coal miners: perceived organizational support and psychological capital

Li Liu, Fengting Wen, Xin Xu, Lie Wang
Journal of Occupational Health 2015, 57 (1): 58-68
25410268

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to examine the potential effects of perceived organizational support (POS) and psychological capital (PsyCap) on combating depressive and anxious symptoms among Chinese underground coal miners.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a coal-mining population in northeast China. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale, the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), the Survey of Perceived Organizational Support (SPOS) scale and the Psychological Capital Questionnaire (PCQ), which measure depressive and anxious symptoms, POS and PsyCap were distributed to 2,500 underground coal miners (1,925 effective respondents). Hierarchical linear regression was performed to examine the associations of POS and PsyCap (self-efficacy, hope, resilience and optimism) with depressive and anxious symptoms and the moderating roles of PsyCap and its components. The mediating roles of PsyCap and its components were examined using asymptotic and resampling strategies.

RESULTS: The mean levels of depressive and anxious symptoms were 19.91 and 49.69, respectively. POS, PsyCap, hope, resilience, optimism and POS × PsyCap were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. POS, PsyCap, resilience, POS × PsyCap and POS × resilience were negatively associated with anxious symptoms. PsyCap, hope, resilience and optimism partially mediated the association between POS and depressive symptoms. PsyCap and resilience partially mediated the association between POS and anxious symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: POS, PsyCap, hope, resilience and optimism could be effective resources for reducing depressive and anxious symptoms. PsyCap, hope, resilience and optimism act as moderators and mediators in the associations of POS with depressive and anxious symptoms. Managers should promote supportive settings and investment in PsyCap to improve workers' mental health.

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