Occupational Stress and Employees Complete Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Empirical Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 21;17(10):3629. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17103629.


Given the shortcomings of previous research on occupational stress and mental health (e.g., predominantly in Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic (WEIRD) societies, based on the traditional mental health model and a lack of comparative studies), this study aimed to (a) examine the relationship between occupational stress and complete mental health among employees in Cabo Verde and China, and also explored the mediation and moderation roles of burnout and optimism in accounting for the empirical link. Mental health was defined as comprised of two distinguishable factors: positive and negative mental health. The Pearson correlation test, structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis, bootstrap analysis, hierarchical moderated regression and an independent t-test were used to analyze the data. The results indicated that, in both countries, occupational stress showed a negative relation to positive mental health and lower psychopathology symptoms-and job burnout mediated the relation between occupational stress and mental health. Optimism moderated the relation between occupational stress and burnout, but not the relation between occupational stress and complete mental health. The results are interpreted in light of the comparative framework.

Keywords: Cabo Verde; China; burnout; complete mental health; employee; occupational stress; optimism.