Gender differences in the effects of job insecurity on psychological distress in Japanese workers: a population-based panel study

  • Yuko KachiEmail author
  • Hideki Hashimoto
  • Hisashi Eguchi
Original Article



This study aimed to examine effects of persistence or change in job insecurity on psychological distress (PD) among Japanese community dwellers.


The sample comprised 889 men and 762 women aged 25–50 years who were employed and completed both wave 1 (2010) and wave 2 (2012) surveys of the Japanese Study on Stratification, Health, Income, and Neighborhood (J-SHINE). Job insecurity, a perception of threat of job loss, was self-reported in both waves to define persistence and change of the status. Logistic regression analysis was performed to compare PD (K6 score ≥ 5) at wave 2 for employees whose job security changed or who remained insecure with that of those who remained secure.


Persistent job insecurity was associated with PD (for men, OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.03–2.63; for women OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.02–2.65), after adjustment for confounders. Additionally, change from secure to insecure perception was also associated with PD in men, while change from insecure to secure was associated with PD in women. Regardless of gender, these effects were observable among workers with children but not among those without children.


Persistent job insecurity and change in job insecurity has adverse effects on PD, especially for workers with children. Gender differences in the effects of change in job security on PD might be explained by the social norms of gender roles and labor market gender segregation. Policy makers should consider dependent family and gender inequalities when developing policies to reduce job insecurity and its negative health effects.


Southeast Asia Population-based panel study Job insecurity Psychological distress Gender difference 



This study was funded by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP15K08573 and JP21119002.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was conducted according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and the Ethical Guidelines for Medical and Health Research Involving Human Subjects of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, and the protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Tokyo (approval no. 3073).

Informed consent

Participants were informed of the study purpose, their autonomy, confidentiality of the responses and data handling.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hygiene and Public HealthNippon Medical SchoolTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthKitasato University School of MedicineSagamiharaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Health and Social Behavior, School of Public HealthThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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