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Traditional Gender Differences Create Gaps in the Effect of COVID-19 on Psychological Distress of Japanese Workers

Department of Disaster Psychiatry, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Koichi Tanigawa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8656; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168656
Received: 9 July 2021 / Revised: 11 August 2021 / Accepted: 11 August 2021 / Published: 16 August 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Japanese workers psychological distress through crises of health, economics, and social relationships. To assess whether these effects are amplified by the gender bias that exists in Japan, we examined male and female worker’s psychological distress and difficulties during the pandemic. An online “COVID-19-related difficulties” questionnaire, based on item response theory, gathered responses from 3464 workers in October and November 2020. The workers’ psychological distress was found concerned to be significantly worse than before the pandemic. Basic stressors related to infection anxiety, economic anxiety, and restrictions on social interactions and outings. Men’s and women’s experiences of difficulties were consistent with traditional gender roles in Japan: men were more likely to face job-related stressors, such as economic insecurity and work-style changes; women were more likely to face non-job-related stressors, such as increased living costs and reduced social interactions. Policymakers and employers should consider the association between gender differences and industry types, and implement measures to strengthen the acceptability of mental health care. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental health; social interaction; item response theory; gendered vulnerability; health care work mental health; social interaction; item response theory; gendered vulnerability; health care work
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kobayashi, T.; Maeda, M.; Takebayashi, Y.; Sato, H. Traditional Gender Differences Create Gaps in the Effect of COVID-19 on Psychological Distress of Japanese Workers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8656. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168656

AMA Style

Kobayashi T, Maeda M, Takebayashi Y, Sato H. Traditional Gender Differences Create Gaps in the Effect of COVID-19 on Psychological Distress of Japanese Workers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(16):8656. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168656

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kobayashi, Tomoyuki, Masaharu Maeda, Yui Takebayashi, and Hideki Sato. 2021. "Traditional Gender Differences Create Gaps in the Effect of COVID-19 on Psychological Distress of Japanese Workers" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 16: 8656. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168656

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