Gender differences in occupational stress and health among legal professionals in Taiwan

Feng Jen Tsai, Chang Chuan Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study sought to determine gender differences in occupational stress and health and to compare the strength of association between two occupational stress models, demand-control-support (DCS) and effort-reward imbalance (ERI), on poor health among male and female legal professionals. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 193 male and 170 female legal professionals from 6 district courts, 1 appeals court, 3 District Procurators Offices and 26 law firms. The Chinese versions of Karasek job content questionnaire (C-JCQ) and Siegrist effort-reward imbalance questionnaire (C-ERI) were used to evaluate occupational stress, and the International Quality of Life Assessment Short Form-36 (IQOLA SF-36) questionnaire to evaluate health. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to calculate the odds ratio of poor health among female legal professionals versus male legal professionals, and the gender-specific association between DCS and ERI models and poor health adjusted for age, marital status, job content, years of work experience, and working hours per day. Results: Male legal professionals scored significantly higher on job control (70.54 vs. 66.46) and job satisfaction (59.99 vs. 57.45) than did female legal professionals. Females scored significantly lower on physical function (90.23 vs. 93.80), bodily pain (72.73 vs. 77.68), social function (66.25 vs. 72.85) and mental health (58.02 vs. 62.41) than did males. There was a significant gender difference in the association between occupational stress and poor health. We found that men's poor health was more significantly related to job strain while effort-reward imbalance was associated equally with poor health in both males and females. Conclusions: Gender differences exist in occupational stress, health and the strength of association between occupational stress models and poor health among legal professionals in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-504
Number of pages11
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • ERI
  • Gender
  • JCQ
  • Legal professional
  • Occupational stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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