Journal of Occupational Health
Online ISSN : 1348-9585
Print ISSN : 1341-9145
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Associations of neighborhood-level workplace violence with workers' mental distress problems: a multilevel analysis of Taiwanese employees
Li-Chung PienDuan-Rung ChenChiou-Jong ChenKuei-Min LiangYawen Cheng
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2015 Volume 57 Issue 6 Pages 555-564

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Abstract

Objective: Workplace violence is known to pose mental health risks. However, whether or not workplace violence in a surrounding area might further increase the risk of mental distress in workers has rarely been examined. Methods: The study subjects were 9,393 male and 7,716 female employees who participated in a nationwide survey in 2010. Their personal experiences of workplace violence over the past 1 year were ascertained by a standardized questionnaire. Also assessed were their psychosocial work characteristics and mental distress problems. Neighborhood-level workplace violence was computed based on aggregated data at the county level and was categorized into low-, medium-, and high-level categories. Multilevel logistic regression models were constructed to examine the associations between neighborhood-level workplace violence and individual-level mental distress problems, with adjustment of individual-level experience of workplace violence. Findings: The neighborhood-level prevalence of workplace violence ranged from 4.7 to 14.7% in men and from 6.4 to 14.8% in women across 22 counties. As compared with those who live in counties of the lowest tertile of workplace violence, female workers who lived in counties of the highest tertile of workplace violence had a 1.72-fold increased risk for mental distress problems after controlling for individual experience of workplace violence and other psychosocial work characteristics. Conclusion: Neighborhood-level workplace violence was associated with poor mental health in female workers. Preventative strategies targeting workplace violence should pay attention to neighborhood factors and gender-specific effects that might influence societal tolerance of abusive work practices and workers' vulnerability to mental health impacts of workplace violence.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 555–564)

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2015 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health
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