The Relationships between Emotional Labour and Depressive Symptoms Among Nurses in University Hospitals

대학병원 간호사들의 감정노동과 우울수준과의 관련성

  • Kim, Kyung-Ok (Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Public Health, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Cho, Young-Chae (Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Chungnam National University School of Medicine and Research Institute for Medical Sciences)
  • 김경옥 (충남대학교 보건대학원 보건학과) ;
  • 조영채 (충남대학교 의학전문대학원 예방의학교실 및 의학연구소)
  • Received : 2013.05.02
  • Accepted : 2013.08.07
  • Published : 2013.08.31


The purpose of this study was to find out the relationships between emotional labour and depressive symptoms among nurses in university hospitals. Subjects were 514 nurses working at three university hospitals in Daejeon City, and the survey was a structured self- administered questionnaire based from April 1 until May 31 2012. As a results, the level of depressive symptoms by the subjects emotional labour level was significantly higher in the group with higher total average points of the emotional labour than the lower group, As for the correlation between the level of depressive symptoms and emotional labour factors, the depressive symptoms points showed significant positive correlation with the total points of the emotional labour. As a result of hierarchical multiple regression, age, leisure time, coffee consumption, subjective health status, physical burden of work, sense of satisfaction at work, fit to the job and emotional labour were selected as significant variables and related variables effecting the level of depressive symptoms. These variables' descriptive power was 39.4%, especially, it can be seen that 11.0% descriptive power increased by putting the emotional labor variables. The results above imply that there is significant relation between emotional labor and depressive symptoms and various variables such as socio-demographic characteristics, health-related behavior factors and job-related factors. Also, it can be seen that the emotional labour and depressive symptoms showed significant positive correlation. Therefore, the development and implementation of a program to control emotional labor appropriately should be required for lowering the level of depressive symptoms.


  1. Motowidlo SJ., Manning MR., & Packard JS. Occupational stress : It's causes and consequences for job performance. Journal Applied Psychology 71(4):618-629, 1986. DOI:
  2. Gray B. The emotional labour of nursing: Defining and managing emotions in nursing work. Nurse Edu Today, 29:168-175, 2009. DOI:
  3. Lee BI, Joung HS, Kim SR. Lee KY. Factors Influencing Depression with Emotional Labor among Workers in the Service Industry. Journal of Korean Community Nursing, 15(4):566-576, 2004.
  4. Motowidlo SJ., Manning MR., & Packard JS. Occupational stress : It's causes and consequences for job performance. Journal Applied Psychology, 71(4):618-629, 1986. DOI:
  5. Kim SY, Chang SJ, Kim HY, Rho JH. A study on the relationship between emotional labor and depressive symptoms among Korean industrial service employees. The Korean Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 14(3):227-235, 2002.
  6. Lee YC, Kim HC, Jeong DY, Kim DH, Kim JH, Lee DH, Park SK, Lim JH. Emotional labor, job stress and depressive symptoms of the medical doctors in an university hospital. Korean Society of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 5:168-169, 2008.
  7. Chu SH, Ryou HC, Bae KJ, Song JC, Lee SJ, Kim IA. Association between emotional labor and symptoms of depression among bankers. The Korean society of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 22(4):316-323, 2010.
  8. Byun GH. Emotional labor, job stress and depressive symptoms of working women on service. Korean Society of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 11:332-333, 2011.
  9. Brotheridge CM, Lee RT. Development and validation of the emotional labour scale. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 76(3):365-379, 2003. DOI:
  10. Weissman MM, Locke BZ. Comparison of a self-report symptom rating scale(CES-D) with standardized depression rating scales in psychiatric populations. Am J Epidemiol, 102: 430-431, 1975.
  11. Kim HJ, Kim JH. Emotional labor, social support, and Depressive symptoms of clinical nurses in a province Korea. 20(3):308-318, 2011.
  12. Lee SN. Relation of among emotional labor, burn out and job involvement of nurses. Unpublished master's thesis the graduate school of information in clinical nursing Hanyang university. 2010.
  13. Seo YS, Sung KW. Relation of emotional labor, job involvement and job satisfaction for nurses in long-term care facilities. J Korean Gerontol Nurs. 13(3):196-203, 2011.
  14. Kim SH. Effect of emotional labor on psychiatric health of ambulatory nurses. Unpublished master's thesis Catholic University of Korea. 2012.
  15. Lee KJ, Lee E. The relationship of emotional labor, empowerment, job burnout and turn over intention of clinical nurses. Korean Journal of Occupational Health Nursing. 20(2):130-142, 2011. DOI:
  16. Cha SK, Shin YS, Kim KY, Lee BY, Ahn SY, Jang HS, Kwon YJ, Kim DH. The degree of emotional labor and the its related factors among clinical nurses. Journal of Korean Clinical Nursing Research. 15(2):23-35, 2009.
  17. Lee HJ, E YS, Park NH, Lee GJ. Factors discriminating nurses' depression among personal and environmental characteristics. J Korean Acad Nurs. 32(6):867-877, 2002.
  18. Lee WH, Kim CJ. The relationship between depression, perceived stress, fatigue and anger in clinical nurses. J Korean Acad Nurs. 36(6):925-932, 2006.
  19. Yoon HS, Kim HL, Kwon IS, Cho YC. Type A behavior pattern and its association with stress, depression and fatigue in nurses. Korean Journal of Occupational Health Nursing. 17(2):180-190, 2008.
  20. Kim JH, Hyun MY, Kim SY. Job stress, depression, social support and coping strategies of clinical nurses. Korean Journal of Occupational Health Nursing. 18(2):219-232, 2009.
  21. Yoon SH. Occupational stress and depression in clinical nurses. Journal Korean Academy of Nursing Administration. 15(3):463-470, 2009.
  22. Lee S. The effect of ego-state and life position of clinical nurses of depression. J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 10(4):604-614, 2001.
  23. Kim HS, Yim HW, Lee JY, Cho HJ, Jo SJ, Lee WC. Influences of self-esteem and social support on the depression of some clinical nurses. 19(2):125-134, 2007.
  24. Joung GY. The effects of job stress for depression in clinical nurses. Korean Journal of Occupational Health Nursing. 16(2):158-167, 2007.
  25. Schaefor J, Moss RH. Effects of work stress and work climate on long-term care staff's job morale and functioning. Res Nurs Health. 19:63-73, 1996. DOI: 19:1<63::AID-NUR7>3.0.CO;2-J<63::AID-NUR7>3.0.CO;2-J
  26. Kim YK, Yoon DY, Kim JI, Chae CH, Hong YS, Yang CG, Jeong KY, Kim JY. Effects of health on shift work. Korean J Occup Environ Med. 14(3):247-256, 2002.

Cited by

  1. Factors Affecting Nurse's Health Promoting Behavior: Focusing on Self-efficacy and Emotional Labor vol.23, pp.3, 2014,
  2. The Relationships between Emotional Labour, Depressive Symptoms and Presenteeism among Counselors in Call Centers vol.16, pp.6, 2015,
  3. Effects of Violence Experience, Emotional Labor, and Job Stress on Clinical Nurses' Depression vol.24, pp.3, 2015,
  4. Meta Analysis of Variables related to Emotional Labor of Hospital Nurses vol.23, pp.2, 2016,
  5. Structural equation modeling on nurses' emotional labor including antecedents and consequences vol.27, pp.1, 2016,
  6. A study on emotion-labor based emotion burnout by video, questionnaires and structural equation model pp.1573-7721, 2018,