Objectives Suicide rates have increased worldwide, and suicide is the second leading cause of death below the age of 60 in Korea. Hence, loss of the working years due to suicide is very important issue in occupational health. We examined the effects of high emotional demand and low job control on suicidal ideation in sales and service workers.
Method A total of 1995 participants (824 men and 1171 women) were recruited in this study. Suicidal ideation, high emotional demand and low job control were estimated by self-report questionnaires from the 4th Survey. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for suicidal ideation was calculated by gender using the logistic regression analysis.
Results People who experienced high emotional demands (OR: 2.07 in men, OR: 1.97 in women) or low job control (OR: 1.96 in men, OR: 1.33 in women) were more likely to experience suicidal ideation, after adjusting for age, household income, and employment characteristics (paid vs. self-employed workers). The combined effects of emotional demands and job control revealed that workers with high emotional demand and high job control (OR: 1.93 in men, OR: 1.60 in women) and high emotional demand and low job control (OR: 4.60, OR: 2.69 in women) had a higher risk for suicidal ideation, compared to workers with low emotional demand and high job control, after controlling for age, household income, employment characteristics (paid vs. self-employed workers), smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity.
Conclusions Our current results suggest that high emotional demand in both genders as well as low job control in men might play a crucial role in increasing the odds of suicidal ideation in sales and services workers. These serious links were still significant after controlling for individual risk factors such as for age, household income, and lifestyle factors. Furthermore, strong additive relationships of combination of high emotional demand with low job control to the odds of suicidal ideation were found both in men and women.
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