Korean J Occup Environ Med.  2009 Mar;21(1):76-86.

The Relationship between Job Stress and Depressive Symptoms in Migrant Workers in Kyung-gi Province in Korea

  • 1Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Korea. kobawoo@kosha.net
  • 2Department of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea.


To investigate the mental health status of migrant workers. We focused on the relationship between depressive symptoms and job stress. METHEOD: A questionnaire was administered to 488 migrant workers who visited NGO migrant worker centers located in Kyung-gi province. A structured, self-reported questionnaire was used to assess each responder's sociodemographics, work related characteristics, health behaviors, past medical history, job stress and depression symptoms. The job stress questionnaire was used according to KOSS-26 and depression symptoms were measured using CES-D, which was translated into Korean. We used multiple logistic regression analysis to assess the relationship between risk factors included job stress and depression symptoms.
The prevalence of depression symptoms in survey subjects was 25.2%, but the prevalence of non-Chinese nationalities and illegal workers were 32.1% and 32.8%, respectively. Adjusting for confounding factors, job stress (OR 2.55, 95% CI=1.30-4.99) had a statistical meaningful relationship with depression symptoms. Among job stress domains, physical environment (OR 2.97, 95% CI=1.59-5.53), job demand (OR 2.33, 95% CI=1.26-4.32) and occupational climate(OR 3.10, CI=1.49-6.48) were most likely to experience depression symptoms.
The prevalence of depressive symptoms among the study subjects was similar to the prevalence among the general population in Korea, but higher than that among the Korean workers. In particular, the prevalence among non-Chinese and illegal workers was higher. However, the job stress factor appeared to have a more direct correlation with depressive symptoms than the sociodemographic factors of nationality or residential status. Hence, in order to prevent depressive symptoms of the migrant workers, we believe that intervention on job stress is necessary.


Migrant workers; Depressive symptom; Job stress
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