1999 Volume 37 Issue 2 Pages 263-270
To examine whether positive and negative components of mental health were differently related to job stressors and life events, correlational analyses were conducted using data for the GHQ-12 and some scales of the NIOSH Generic Job Stress Questionnaire collected from 765 workers in Japan. Six positive items and six negative items of the GHQ-12 were summed up for positive and negative components of mental health (GHQ-POS, GHQ-NEG). The GHQ-POS was significantly correlated with only positively-oriented job stressors. The GHQ-NEG was significantly correlated with only negatively-oriented job stressors. Most correlations were significantly different between GHQ-POS and GHQ-NEG. This correlation pattern resulted in smaller, but significant, correlations between job stressors and the GHQ-12. These results may reflect “measuring similarity” due to item-wording. Detailed inspection suggested that GHQ-POS and GHQ-NEG, as well as positively-and negatively-oriented job stressors, were not attributable only to positive affectivity or negative affectivity, respectively. Work-related events showed higher correlations with all mental health variables than their job stressors' counterparts. For females, mental health variables were seldom correlated with job stressors, but significantly correlated with life events. These results might indicate the superiority of “event-type stress measure” as compared to perceived rating scale in assessing job stressors. Further direction was discussed.