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Comparative Study
, 57 (5), 427-37

Gender and Educational Level Modify the Relationship Between Workplace Mistreatment and Health Problems: A Comparison Between South Korea and EU Countries

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Comparative Study

Gender and Educational Level Modify the Relationship Between Workplace Mistreatment and Health Problems: A Comparison Between South Korea and EU Countries

Minsang Yoo et al. J Occup Health.

Abstract

Objectives: This study investigated effects of workers' cultural and personal characteristics on the relationship between workplace mistreatment and health problems in both South Korea and EU Countries.

Methods: Data were obtained from nationally representative interview surveys: the third Korean Working Conditions Survey (KWCS) in 2011 (50,032 participants) and fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) in 2010 (41,302 participants). The Pressure-State-Response model was adapted to explore differences in the relationship between mistreatment and health problems according to country, and logistic regression analysis was used after stratification of moderating factors. Workplace mistreatment, such as discrimination, violence, harassment, and self-reported health problems, were assessed by gender and educational level.

Results: Among KWCS participants, there were 4,321 victims (14.70%) of workplace mistreatment; among EWCS participants, there were 5,927 victims (17.89%). There was a significant positive association between workplace mistreatment and self-reported health problems. A stronger association was found among workers with higher educational levels in Korea (2- to 4-fold higher odds for mental and physical health problems), but there was no significant difference by education level in workers of EU Countries. Female Koreans who worked alone had a higher risk of health problems related to workplace mistreatment than other gender compositions in the workplace (the OR for psychological symptoms reached 6.631). In contrast, the gender composition of the work place did not significantly affect EU workers.

Conclusions: Workplace mistreatment is significantly associated with physical and mental health problems, especially among workers with higher educational levels and females who work alone in Korea.

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