The Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ) developed by us in the year 2000 has been widely used in the workplace. The BJSQ consists of three factors; Job stressors, psychological stress reactions and social supports. The government which felt uneasy about deterioration of mental health in a workplace worked out a new policy; the Stress Check System that the BJSQ was utilized. This system is aimed for the primary prevention of mental health disorder, which is linked to remind the worker of his/her own condition of stress and to improve of the workplace environment, and is thought to be an advanced policy.
However, various problems are left in this system. There are in particular some problems that should be improved in use this system, such as the choice of the person of high stress. In this special issue, three experts in the field of the occupational health report the problems of the system.
The Stress Check Program is a new national occupational health policy that aims to promote primary prevention of mental health disorders among workers. The workers who are assessed as being under high stress conditions are recommended to undergo face-to-face guidance with a physician designated by the employer. The guidance includes a check of working conditions and of mental burden and mental and physical conditions, health guidance for reducing stress, and encouragement to receive medical consultation as necessary.
This paper describes some points to be considered in planning and conducting the guidance.
The people involved should discuss such things as how to conduct health consultation for workers who do not desire to undergo face-to-face guidance, how to give effective guidance within a limited period of time, and what workplace actions to take for workers who are under high stress conditions.
It is required of workplaces to support employees to maintain their mental health through comprehensive mental health promotion including stress check program. To smoothly conduct stress checks, the following points shall be considered, (1) how to improve the examination rate, (2) whether employees respond honestly to questionnaires, (3) how to find highly stressed employees, (4) whether employees request physician’s interview, (5) whether a doctor can give appropriate guidance in face-to-face guidance. This paper introduces some practical measures and examples of conducting the stress check program.
“The Stress Check program” based on the amendment of Industrial Safety and Halth Law, Japan (1972) has been introduced since December 1, 2015. As this program focused on primary prevention for job-related stress measures, it is considered that improving the workplace environment following on the scientific efficacy of which has been shown. However, the process of the stress check program, group analysis of the stress check survey and workplace environment improvements are positioned as an additional components on this system. Therefore, in this paper, authors provide a brief overview about the group analysis and workplace environmental improvements as stress management measures. And we discuss the effective of workplace environment improvements and important points for realizing the initiative. In addition, in utilizing the stress check program, we are aiming to consider how occupational health practitioners approach to employer/employees and how they contribute to promoting the creation of an ideal workplace.
The results of group analysis have been recommended for the use for conducting the training for managers and for discussing at the workplace environment improvements in occupational safety and health committees. Occupational health professionals should pay attention that the group analysis results only show an aspect of the stress conditions in the workplace, it is recommended to conduct an assessment of the health condition of the entire workplace together with other multifaceted information (physical examination results and workplace inspections). As for the group analysis results, observing the results that change over time as a monitoring index of various interventions such as the workplace conditions and the workplace environment improvements is important.
Improving the workplace environment is an effective methods for primary prevention of mental health relying on scientific evidence. In all processes of workplace environment improvements in terms of promoting better workplace culture, occupational health practitioners should facilitate the strategic approach to managers and workers by using an effective tools. They have important role of ascertaining the priority of initiatives using their specialized knowledge and assessment, and must also support the initiatives in the workplace with a comprehensive approach. Moreover, it is necessary to develop systemic evaluation methods for workplace environment improvements as a primary prevention of stress management.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the influences of attainable goal-setting on speech-related cognition in socially anxious individuals. Forty undergraduates completed 2 speech tasks, and we examined changes in speech-related cognition depending on the presence or absence of goal-setting. Participants in the goal-setting condition set attainable goals for speech tasks using worksheets by themselves, and participants in the control condition completed arithmetic tasks. Unexpectedly, in the control condition, perceived social standards in those with a high level of social anxiety were attenuated. In addition, state anxiety after speech tasks decreased in the control condition regardless of social anxiety. These findings suggest that goal-setting in the method of this study led to an increase of perceived social standards and state anxiety.
The purpose of this study was to examine psychological changes of school absentees who participated in camp programs incorporating the buddy system, a procedure for support tailored to individuals. Thirty-seven school absentees participated for seven days in camp programs. They were provided support on a one-to-one basis by staff as a buddy, to receive positive reinforcement in interpersonal situations. The outcome measures included interpersonal self-efficacy and stress responses that affect their adaptive behaviors, such as restarting their attendance at school. Results showed improvements in the interpersonal self-efficacy and stress responses of school absentees from the beginning of camp programs to the end. Findings suggest that psychological changes, which would affect the adaptive behaviors of school absentees, came from camp programs incorporating the buddy system.
This research carried out a study focusing on the two perceptions of automatic thoughts and negative rumination, with the purpose of clarifying the connection between them and depressive states of university students. A survey targeting 668 university students was conducted, and the data collected from the 266 valid responses (70.56% valid response rate) was analyzed. A model showing the relationship between depression and automatic thoughts and rumination was constructed, and its goodness of fit was calculated through covariance structure analysis.
The results showed that an automatic negative evaluation of self and an automatic negative evaluation of the past and the present intensify an automatic negative view of the future and a depressive state, and that an automatic negative view of the future and negative rumination increase depressive states. These results suggest that while focusing on an automatic negative evaluation of self and an automatic negative evaluation of the past and the present in intervention for depressive states, attention should also be directed to whether there is rumination on these automatic thoughts and, even if there is, whether such rumination can be stopped.
This study investigated the psychological health among junior high school students who evacuated following Fukushima nuclear accident. Ten students living in temporary housing (4 boys and 6 girls) and 530 students living outside the disaster area (258 boys, 270 girls, and 2 unknowns) participated in this survey to measure their stress responses, positive affect, and social support. The results were as follows: (a) the students in temporary housing showed higher scores in physical responses, depression/anxiety, and irritation/anger subscales in stress inventory, positive affect, and family and friend support, but did lower score in helplessness subscale and lower teacher support than the students outside the disaster area, (b) the ratio of the students who reported high stress responses, interrupted sleep and early waking was higher among the students in temporary housing compared to the students outside the disaster area. These results suggested the need for medium- to long-term psychological support for the students living in temporary housing.
In this study, we focused on self-control from two aspects, from a behavior tendency, self-restraint and self-release. With university students as subjects, we developed new scales to measure them.
By factor analysis, a Self-Restraint Control Scale consisted of “Pro-social and pro-goal self-restraint” and “Restraint of desire and impulse,” while a Self-Release Control Scale consisted of “Active distraction and rest” and “regulation of over impulse-restraint.” The internal consistency was (α = .68-.75, α = .81-.83), and the test-retest reliability was (r = .68-.80, r = .70-.75); constant reliability was indicated. Moreover, by the correlation with former measures, constant validity was indicated.
From this study, the behavioral content included in the self-control was clarified, and the viewpoint helpful for understanding the self-control was demonstrated.
Consistent with the concept of security priming, it was hypothesized that reminders of significant others providing sense of security would invite individuals to be tolerant of a romantic partner’s lies. Two experiments were conducted to test this hypothesis. Security priming was performed by asking participants to recall a real life experience suggesting their own significant others’ supportiveness. Dependent variables were the responses to hypothetical situations in which a romantic partner had lied and the deception had been discovered. Experiment 1 showed that security priming could reduce the degree of ungenerosity interference in forgiving a partner, after the deception had been discovered. Experiment 2 showed that this effect did not result from the mildness of threat stimuli attributed to the fact that hypothetical situations were written in third person. Taken together, these results suggested that the effect of security priming ease a self-threat produced by a romantic partner’s lies.