Depressive symptoms in women working in a poultry-processing plant: a longitudinal analysis.
BACKGROUND: Work in poultry-processing plants is physically demanding, and a number of studies have documented the effects of such work on the physical health of workers. Few studies, however, have examined the potential effects on mental health. METHODS: Longitudinal data were collected on 223 women who worked in two poultry-processing plants in northeastern North Carolina. Effects on depressive symptoms of demographic variables, work tenure at baseline, musculoskeletal pain, psychosocial job characteristics, coping style, and health-related quality of life were examined using mixed models. RESULTS: Psychosocial job characteristics were not associated with depressive symptoms as measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D) in this cohort of workers. CES-D scores decreased with increasing work tenure at the plant, which suggests a healthy worker survivor effect (HWSE). CONCLUSIONS: These exploratory analyses draw attention to the need to more carefully explore the possibility that the HWSE may extend to mental health outcomes as well as physical ones.
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