What Kind of Stress Is Associated with Depression, Anxiety and Suicidal Ideation in Korean Employees?

J Korean Med Sci. 2017 May;32(5):843-849. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2017.32.5.843.


Various types of stress affect mental health in the form of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and suicidal ideation. Recently, the increasing suicide rate in the working-age population has become a major mental health concern in Korea. Thus, we investigated what kind of stress influence depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation in Korean employees. The study participants were 189,965 employees who attended health screenings and responded to the Center for Epidemiologic Study-Depression Scale, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and a questionnaire on the major causes of stress and suicidal ideation. We investigated the major causes of stress by gender and age categories and used binary logistic regression to determine the impact of the causes of stress on depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Of several stress causes, work-related stress was the most prevalent, regardless of age category and gender, followed by interpersonal relationships. However, interpersonal relationships and financial problems were the predominant causes of stress related to depression or suicidal ideation. This research suggests that despite the fact that work is the most common cause of stress for Korean employees, stress related to life problems other than work has a greater influence on the mental health of Korean employees.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Employees; Stress; Suicidal Ideation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Demography
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult