Work stress and mental health in a changing society

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The aim of this representative study in the Hungarian population was to analyse the association between work-related factors and self-reported mental and physical health after controlling for negative affect and hostility as personality traits.


The effects of job related factors on Beck Depression Score, WHO well-being score and self-rated health (SRH) were analysed in a representative sample of 3153 male and 2710 female economically active Hungarians.


In both genders negative affect was the most important correlate of depression, well-being and SRH, whereas hostility was closely associated only with depression. Job insecurity, low control and low social support at work, weekend work hours, job-related life events and dissatisfaction with work and with boss were independent mental health risk factors, but there were important gender differences. Job related factors seem to be equally important predictors of mental health as social support from family.


The results of this large national representative study indicate that independent of negative affect and hostility, a cluster of stressful work-related psychosocial conditions accounts for a substantial part of variation in self-reported mental and physical health of the economically active population in Hungary.

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