Psychiatry Investig.  2020 Jul;17(7):645-653. 10.30773/pi.2019.0329.

Emotional Changes and Protective Factors of Emotional Workers in the Public and Private Sector

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Brain and Cognitive Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 3Ansan Community Mental Health Center, Ansan, Republic of Korea


Emotional labor is known to be a risk factor for emotional distress. This study aimed to evaluate specific stressors according to the type of occupation and identify protective and adverse factors.
We recruited 349 workers engaged in emotional labor in a suburban city. They were assessed using scales regarding emotional status, job stress, resilience, and job satisfaction. Correlation and regression analyses were performed to evaluate their emotional state according to their stress level. A mediation model using structural equation modeling was utilized to identify the mediating effects of resilience and workplace satisfaction.
The correlation analysis indicated that the level of workplace stress was statistically correlated with depressed mood and anxiety and showed a significant inverse correlation with individuals’ resilience and job satisfaction. According to the regression analysis, in private institution workers, “emotional disharmony and hurt” had a statistically significant negative effect on their emotional state, and in public institution workers, “emotional demands and regulation” were prominent. Resilience partially mediated the relationship between emotional stress and anxiety/depressive symptoms.
Our findings indicate that the causes of stress differed according to the working environment. Preventive strategies such as resilience training and relieving stress on individual factors are needed to promote mental health.


Emotional labor, Job stress, Resilience, Depressive mood, Anxiety
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