Construction Workers' Well-Being: What Leads to Depression, Anxiety, and Stress?

Rebecca R. Langdon, Sukanlaya Sawang
2018 Journal of construction engineering and management  
Work-related stress is an important issue in any industry, particularly for construction workers where stressful environments are frequently encountered. Critical questions are therefore: what are the primary stressors in the construction work-place; and what are the relationships between the strain effect of psychological distress and the counter-measures and coping mechanisms used by construction workers? The first question was addressed using Qmethodology survey with 18 participants. The
more » ... lts show that time and personal finance, and the task nature of the work, are important stressors. For the second question, a questionnaire survey administered to 91 participants on two construction sites of a single contractor was used to collect data about the stressors, psychological strain effects and coping strategies they used. Mediated regression analysis of the data showed that lack of personal and family time, increases in the cost of living, and fears about job security all act as powerful stressors. Coping strategies including acceptance, self-blame, and disengagement are associated with higher levels of psychological distress. Increased substance use, while associated with lower levels of anxiety, may only be a short term coping mechanism. An anomaly was found with humour as a coping strategy, where the relationship was found to be counter-intuitive and contrary to the findings of previous research. Future research should examine this more closely. Employers should better inform workers about the negative effects of maladaptive coping strategies, and offer opportunities for adopting more positive alternatives.
doi:10.1061/(asce)co.1943-7862.0001406 fatcat:gsspodkx75f4xp3jll4oeew2oe