It has been reported that assessment of mental health at the workplace by using questionnaires could predict the incidence of sick leave for mental health disorders. However, there are few large-scale cohort studies that have investigated this possibility, and more data are required. Therefore, the association between scores on our original questionnaire, the Hitachi Mental Health Scale (HMS) and the incidence of sick leave for mental health disorders was investigated. Employees (N=16,078) participated in this cohort study. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between HMS and incidence of sick leave for mental health disorders. We also examined correlation coefficient between HMS and the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ), and compared the ability to identify high-risk groups. Results indicated that multivariable odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for incidence of sick leave adjusted for age, sex, smoking, and alcohol from the lowest through highest-scoring groups on HMS were as follows: 1 (reference), 1.83 (1.20–2.79), 3.21 (2.18–4.72), and 8.83 (5.95–13.11) respectively. Moreover, HMS was strongly associated with the BJSQ stress response scores (correlation coefficient: ρ=.789). Furthermore, ROC analysis indicated no significant differences between HMS and BJSQ in the ability to detect high-risk groups. It is concluded that these findings suggest the strong association between HMS and incidence of sick leave for mental health disorders.
We investigated the role of attention and eating simulation in satiety changes induced by repeated exposure to the visual appearance of food. Participants evaluated their subjective impressions of visually exposed and unexposed food before and after observing movies depicting food being removed from a dish. When participants attended to the food in the movie, changes in appetite from pre- to post-observation ratings were higher for unexposed than for exposed food. However, satiety changes were not observed when participants attended to letters superimposed onto the movie. Additionally, satiety did not change when the movie was played backward so that it did not simulate eating. The results showed the importance of attention in the satiety changes elicited by visual exposure to food. Furthermore, the results also suggest that the observation of visual images triggering the simulation of eating action may play an important role in the satiety changes induced by visual exposure to food.
Characteristics and the content of chronic stressors among older adults were investigated. Participants aged 65–79 years (n=16,740) were inquired about the presence of chronic stressors and requested to respond to an open-ended questionnaire in an Internet survey. Results indicated that 26.3% had stressors that had persisted over six months, which were classified into 27 categories. A chi-squared test and a Fisher's exact test revealed that elderly men were more likely to experience chronic stressors due to economic, health, and workplace-related problems, whereas elderly women were more likely to experience chronic stressors due to family, housework, and caregiving issues. Furthermore, participants in the 65–69 age group were more likely to experience chronic stressors from relationships at the workplace, and those in the 70–79 age group were more likely to experience chronic stressors related to their hobbies and volunteer activities. This study identified chronic stressors that were not focused on previous studies such as the stressor of community activities and leisure activities. The results also suggest the importance of considering gender and age differences in stress.
Bullying is a major problem in schools. Many studies conducted in the U.S. and Europe have indicated relationships between parenting behaviors and bullying and peer victimization. However, only a few studies in Japan have investigated these relationships. Therefore, the study examined associations between parenting behaviors and experiences of bullying and victimization in all elementary and junior-high schools students in a suburban Japanese city. Parents assessed their parenting behaviors and the degree of their children's experience of bullying behaviors or victimization in the last year using parent-reported measures. Multinomial logistic regression analysis indicated that parental involvement and monitoring was associated with experiences of victimization at school. Furthermore, negative parenting behaviors, especially rigid discipline, was related to all experiences of bullying, including the bully, the victim, and the bully-victim. These findings suggest that the improvement of parenting behaviors could prevent children and adolescents from bullying other students or being victimized at schools.
The Activities and Participation State Scale for stroke survivors (APSS) was developed, and its reliability and validity were evaluated. Participants in the study were stroke patients with activities restricted to their homes (N=95). A pilot version of the scale comprising 21 items was developed based on interviews conducted with stroke survivors and used in a questionnaire survey. Also, the quality of life and psychological adjustment of stroke survivors were evaluated by using the MOS 8-item Short-Form Health Survey and the Nottingham Adjustment Scale Japanese version for disability, respectively. Explanatory factor analysis of the pilot scale indicated that the scale consisting of three factors that comprised of 14 items had adequate reliability and validity. These findings indicate that APSS is a clinically useful tool for evaluating the state of activity and participation of stroke survivors.
Psychosocial influences on weight regain after weight loss interventions for obesity were investigated. Obese patients (N=33) participated in a 6-month weight loss program and a follow-up survey. The participant's psychosocial characteristics were assessed using the Tokyo University Egogram (TEG) before and after the intervention. In the follow-up survey, we inquired about the current weight status, changes in weight status and evaluation of diet and exercise management. Results indicated statistically significant positive correlations between the Free Child ego state (FC) in the TEG and food intake. Moreover, those that responded “I have regained weight” in the follow-up survey had more changes in FC scores during the program compared to those that responded: “I have not regained weight,” indicative of differences between self-reported food intake and subjective evaluation of weight-regain. These participants judged that they could well-control their food intake, but also responded “I have regained weight.” It is possible that these participants have an optimistic cognitive bias that “I could do it” because of the optimistic characteristics of FC, although they could not control their diet.
We conducted sleep education for 53 pregnant women participating in a class for parents and examined its effects on sleep habits, sleep satisfaction level and depression during pregnancy. We used educational material and instructed participants about responses to the physical effects of pregnancy, and provided information on biological rhythms of the newborn, as well as the importance of regulating biological rhythms. After sleep education, we explained sleep promotion activities resulting in high-quality sleep for pregnant women. Then, we set target activities for two weeks. After two weeks, we analyzed questionnaire entries of 10 women whose informed consent was obtained before the study. The results demonstrated that their sleep debt decreased and sleep satisfaction increased after sleep education. However, there was no significant improvement in depression during pregnancy. These results suggest that sleep education for pregnant women is effective for improving their sleep.
Characteristics of sensation seeking were examined in driving situations. The relationships among sensation seeking, risky driving, the mental workload of driving, experiences of human errors and traffic accidents were assessed. Participants were older (n=104), middle-aged (n=104), and young drivers (n=104). Path analyses indicated that high sensation seekers tended to engage in risky driving, and risky driving led to increased human errors. Moreover, male drivers that caused accidents tended to engage in risky driving. On the other hand, low sensation seeking older drivers tended to feel a higher level of mental workload, which led to increased human errors. These results suggest that both high and low levels of sensation seeking predicted different problems in driving situations.
Prioritizing positivity is a trait that measures the extent to which people deliberately arrange their lives to include frequent, pleasant experiences. Prioritizing positivity predicts life satisfaction and positive emotions, and it also contributes to an individuals' pursuit of happiness. Two studies tested the reliability and validity of the Japanese version of the Prioritizing Positivity Scale (PPS-J). In Study 1, we tested the factorial and construct validity of PPS-J by using data from a web survey conducted with 416 participants. The results indicated that the PPS-J had a one-factor structure similar to the original version. Moreover, the PPS-J had a positive correlation with life satisfaction and positive emotions, whereas it had a negative correlation with depressive symptoms and negative emotions. In Study 2, we examined the test-retest correlation of the PPS-J with 212 participants. Results indicated a moderate correlation after one month. These results suggest that the PPS-J has good reliability and validity.