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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00166

Effect modification by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on the association of psychosocial work environments with psychological distress and work engagement

  • 1Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences, University of Occupational and Environmental Health Japan, Japan
  • 2Department of Public Health, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Japan

The aim of this study was to examine whether there are differences in association between psychosocial work environment and psychological distress / work engagement among employees with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A total of 2,693 employees at a pharmaceutical company were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire evaluating ADHD tendency (Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale Screener), psychosocial work environment (Brief Job Stress Questionnaire), depressive symptoms (K6), and work engagement (Utrecht Work Engagement Scale).
Job control (standardized partial regression coefficient β=-0.267) had a significant negative effects on psychological distress among ADHD employees, while job demands and social support had not. Among non-ADHD employees, all measured psychosocial work environment factors were significantly associated with psychological distress (job control: β=-0.167, job demands: β=0.147, and social support: β=-0.287). Significant interaction effects were observed between ADHD severity and both job control (β=-0.067) and social support (β=-0.052) on psychological distress. All psychosocial work environment factors were associated with work engagement in both groups, but the interaction effect was not observed between ADHD severity and each measured psychosocial work environment factor.
Job control was the only factor that was related to psychological distress among those suffering from ADHD symptoms, suggesting that control over work may be a key factor to prevent psychological distress among such population. This study also found no difference in the association between the psychosocial work environment and work engagement between the ADHD and non-ADHD group. To the best of our knowledge, this study was first to clarify the different association with psychosocial work environment on psychological distress between in employees with/without ADHD. These findings can aid employers how to arrange work environment for those suffering from ADHD-tendency.

Keywords: ADHD, job demands, Job control, social support, psychological distress, work engagement

Received: 22 Jun 2018; Accepted: 06 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Meichun Mohler-Kuo, School of Nursing Sciences, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland, Switzerland

Reviewed by:

Miryoung Lee, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, United States
Lawrence T Lam, University of Technology Sydney, Australia  

Copyright: © 2019 Nagata, Nagata, Inoue and Mori. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: MD. Masako Nagata, University of Occupational and Environmental Health Japan, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences, Kitakyushu, 807-8555, Fukuoka, Japan,