Working conditions, psychosocial environmental factors, and depressive symptoms among wage workers in South Korea

Minsung Sohn, Mankyu Choi, Minsoo Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In South Korea, the number of workers suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, has rapidly increased. There is growing concern about depressive symptoms being associated with both working conditions and psychosocial environmental factors. Objectives: To investigate potential psychosocial environmental moderators in the relationship between working conditions and occupational depressive symptoms among wage workers. Methods: Data were obtained from the wage worker respondents (n = 4,095) of the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2009. First, chi-square tests confirmed the differences in working conditions and psychosocial characteristics between depressive and non-depressive groups. Second, multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the moderating effects of the psychosocial environmental factors between working conditions and depressive symptoms. Results: After adjusting for potential covariates, the likelihood of depressive symptomatology was high among respondents who had dangerous jobs and flexible work hours compared to those who had standard jobs and fixed daytime work hours (OR = 1.66 and 1.59, respectively). Regarding psychosocial factors, respondents with high job demands, low job control, and low social support were more likely to have depressive symptoms (OR = 1.26, 1.58 and 1.61, respectively). Conclusions: There is a need to develop non-occupational intervention programs, which provide workers with training about workplace depression and improve social support, and the programs should provide time for employees to have active communication. Additionally, companies should provide employees with support to access mental healthcare thereby decreasing the occurrence of workplace depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 2

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Depressive symptom
  • Psychosocial environments
  • South Korea
  • Working condition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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