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Gender discrimination in workplace and depressive symptoms in female employees in South Korea

Authors
Kim, SuyeonWon, EunsooJeong, Hyun-GhangLee, Moon-SooKo, Young-HoonPaik, Jong-WooHan, ChangsuHam, Byung-JooChoi, EunsooHan, Kyu-Man
Issue Date
Jun-2022
Publisher
Elsevier BV
Keywords
Workplace gender discrimination; Depression; Moderator; Workers; Women; Employees
Citation
Journal of Affective Disorders, v.306, pp.269 - 275
Indexed
SCIE
SSCI
SCOPUS
Journal Title
Journal of Affective Disorders
Volume
306
Start Page
269
End Page
275
URI
https://scholarworks.korea.ac.kr/kumedicine/handle/2021.sw.kumedicine/60973
DOI
10.1016/j.jad.2022.03.050
ISSN
0165-0327
Abstract
Background Workplace gender discrimination (WGD) may have long-term negative impacts on female workers' mental health. We aimed to investigate the association between WGD and the prevalence of depressive symptoms using a nationally representative sample of female employees in South Korea. Methods Data of 3190 adult female employees were obtained from the 2018 nationwide Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women and Families. Women's perception of WGD was assessed using a 6-item questionnaire. Respondents were classified into high, medium, and low levels of WGD according to the 25th and 75th percentile scores. A score of ≥10 on the 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies for Depression Scale was defined as having significant depressive symptoms. Results A high level of WGD was significantly associated with a higher odds ratio (OR) for depressive symptoms compared to the low level (OR = 1.87, 95% confidence interval = 1.45–2.41). In the subgroup analyses, high WGD levels were associated with the highest OR for depressive symptoms in the following subgroups: younger age (19–39 years), those with a college degree, non-standard workers, pink collar workers, those with a workplace size of 10–29 employees, those with high levels of job autonomy, or low levels of emotional labor. Limitations Causal interpretation is limited owing to the study's cross-sectional design. Conclusions A high level of perceived WGD was associated with depressive symptoms among female employees. Certain groups of female employees may be particularly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of WGD on depression.
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