Factors contributing to psychological distress in the working population, with a special reference to gender difference - a population-based study [post]

Satu Viertiö, Olli Kiviruusu, Maarit Piirtola, Jaakko Kaprio, Tellervo Korhonen, Mauri Marttunen, Jaana Suvisaari
2020 unpublished
Purpose 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 collected in 2012–2016 (target population participants aged 20 +, n=96 668, response rate 53%),
more » ... ate 53%), restricting the current analysis to those persons who were working full-time and under 65 years (n=34 468). Psychological distress was assessed using the Mental Health Index (cut-off value <=52). We studied the following factors potentially associated with psychological distress: sociodemographic factors, living alone, having minor children, lifestyle-related factors, social support, helping others outside of the home and work-related factors. 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). Conclusion 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.
doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-42789/v2 fatcat:fbiiy6hsabc2ndfl52xcygxhla