Occupational stress, social support, and depression among black and white professional-managerial women

Women Health. 1992;18(1):41-79. doi: 10.1300/J013v18n01_03.


This study employed a quota sample of 200 black and white professional-managerial women from the Memphis, Tennessee, area to explore the relationships among occupational stress, social support, and well-being. Data were gathered through face-to-face, focused life history interviews. Depression was measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD). Social support for one's career was assessed from three sources: family, friends, and co-workers, and measures of occupational stress included workload, unfair/impersonal treatment, and trouble with boss or subordinates. Using multiple regression techniques, the findings of this study indicate that there are complex differences in levels of social support, occupational stress, and depression across social structural dimensions (race, class background, supervisory status, marital status, parental status) for this sample, including significant two-and three-way interactions. Trouble with boss or subordinates was also found to be related to levels of depression. Career support from friends, co-workers, and family, on the other hand, did not directly benefit the women's well-being or lessen the damaging effects of interpersonal job conflict on their mental health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel / psychology*
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Tennessee
  • Women's Health
  • Women, Working / psychology*
  • Workload / psychology