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Open Access Research article

Sense of coherence is associated with reduced psychological responses to job stressors among Japanese factory workers

Kayoko Urakawa12*, Kazuhito Yokoyama2 and Hiroaki Itoh2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Stress Science, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-174 Edobashi, Tsu, Mie, 514-8507, Japan

2 Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, Juntendo University Faculty of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8421, Japan

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:247  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-247

Published: 20 May 2012



Job stress is associated with adverse health effects. The present study was conducted to examine the association between sense of coherence (SOC), as advocated by Antonovsky, and psychological responses to job stressors among Japanese workers.


A self-administered questionnaire containing a Japanese version of the 13-item SOC scale, the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire, and a self-rated health item were distributed to 1968 workers in X Prefecture. Anonymous responses were recovered by postal mail.


Complete responses were received from 299 workers (response rate 15.2%, 191 males and 108 females) who consented to participate in the study. Participants were 186 office clerks, 38 sales representatives, 22 technical engineers, 16 service trade workers, eight information processing workers, eight technical experts, and 21 other workers of various types. SOC scores were associated with age, self-rated health, job title, and marriage status. According to regression analyses stratified by gender, SOC was inversely associated with tension, fatigue, anxiety, depression and subjective symptoms in males, and tension, depression and subjective symptoms in females. SOC was positively associated with vigor in both males and females.


Having a strong SOC may reduce worker’s negative job stress responses and increase their vigor. Longitudinal studies are required to confirm this finding.

Sense of coherence; Job stress; Brief Job Stress Questionnaire; Stress reduction