Association of social skills with psychological distress among female nurses in Japan

Ind Health. 2011;49(6):677-85. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.ms1246. Epub 2011 Oct 20.


Nursing is a highly stressful occupation. Because nursing work involves interaction with patients and colleagues, competence in social skills may be a key issue in stress management among nurses. However, there are very few studies among nurses focused on social skills together with social support, both of which are important aspects of job stress. The aim of this study was to examine the interrelationships between social skills and social support with job stressors, problem-solving coping, and psychological distress among Japanese nurses. Data from a self-administered questionnaire of 1,197 female nurses who worked for 5 general hospitals in Japan were analyzed. Covariance structure analysis with structural equation modeling techniques showed that social skills and social support were positively related to each other, while they were negatively associated with psychological distress and job stressors, and positively associated with problem-solving coping. Furthermore, the direct association between social skills and psychological distress was stronger than the association between social support and psychological distress. These findings suggested that improving not only social support at work but also individual social skills is important for nurses' mental health.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Japan
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult