Factors contributing to psychological distress in the working population, with a special reference to gender difference

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/328759

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BMC Public Health. 2021 Mar 29;21(1):611

Title: Factors contributing to psychological distress in the working population, with a special reference to gender difference
Author: Viertiö, Satu; Kiviruusu, Olli; Piirtola, Maarit; Kaprio, Jaakko; Korhonen, Tellervo; Marttunen, Mauri; Suvisaari, Jaana
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 2021-03-29
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/328759
Abstract: Abstract Background Psychological distress refers to non-specific symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, and it is more common in women. Our aim was to investigate factors contributing to psychological distress in the working population, with a special reference to gender differences. Methods We used questionnaire data from the nationally representative Finnish Regional Health and Well-being Study (ATH) collected in the years 2012–2016 (target population participants aged 20 +, n = 96,668, response rate 53%), restricting the current analysis to those persons who were working full-time and under 65 of age (n = 34,468). Psychological distress was assessed using the Mental Health Inventory-5 (MHI-5) (cut-off value <=52). We studied the following factors potentially associated with psychological distress: sociodemographic factors, living alone, having children under18 years of age, lifestyle-related factors, social support, helping others outside of the home and work-related factors. We used logistic regression analysis to examine association between having work-family conflict with the likelihood for psychological distress. We first performed the models separately for men and women. Then interaction by gender was tested in the combined data for those independent variables where gender differences appeared probable in the analyses conducted separately for men and women. Results Women reported more psychological distress than men (11.0% vs. 8.8%, respectively, p < 0.0001). Loneliness, job dissatisfaction and family-work conflict were associated with the largest risk of psychological distress. Having children, active participation, being able to successfully combine work and family roles, and social support were found to be protective factors. A significant interaction with gender was found in only two variables: ignoring family due to being absorbed in one’s work was associated with distress in women (OR 1.30 (95% CI 1.00–1.70), and mental strain of work in men (OR 2.71 (95% CI 1.66–4.41). Conclusions Satisfying work, family life and being able to successfully combine the two are important sources of psychological well-being for both genders in the working population.
Subject: Psychological distress
Work-family conflict
Gender
Nationally representative study
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