Occupation, work-related stress, and personal characteristics among suicide deaths with occupation-related compensation claims in Korea

Jungwon Jang, Yangwoo Kim, Jaechul Song, Inah Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: This study compared differences in age-standardized suicide mortality rates, personal characteristics (demographics, employment conditions, and details of suicide), and work-related stress by gender and occupation among workers who had committed suicide in Korea. METHODS: Data comprised 413 suicide death claims lodged with the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance (IACI) from 2010 to 2018, which were coded. We calculated age-standardized suicide mortality rates by gender and occupation. The chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, and t-test were conducted to examine gender differences. Frequency and percentage distribution by gender and occupation were calculated using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Regardless of gender, age-standardized suicide mortality rate was highest among "Managers." Women who died by suicide were significantly younger and more likely to be unmarried, live alone, and have fewer years of continuous employment than men. "Managers," "Professionals and Related Workers," and "Clerks" experienced similar work-related stresses, including "Difficult work to achieve," "Fail to achieve allocation workload," and "Change of job contents or workload." "Skilled Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Workers," "Craft and Related Trades Workers," and "Equipment, Machine Operating and Assembling Workers" had higher work-related stress related to "Severe disease/injury" or "Causing a serious accident" compared with other workers. CONCLUSIONS: Work-related stress related to suicide deaths differed by gender and occupation. The gender gap of labor market participation in Korea may affect gender differences in terms of demographics and employment conditions among workers who died by suicide. Our study suggests that gender- and occupation-specific strategies and policies to reduce work-related stress can prevent suicide among workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e12233
JournalJournal of Occupational Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021 Jan 1


  • gender gap
  • interpersonal conflict
  • psychiatric treatment
  • responsibility
  • suicide rate


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