Work stress, support, and mental health in construction

Peter E.D. Love, David J. Edwards, Zahir Irani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)


Construction professionals are subjected to a plethora of occupational demands that can have a negative effect on their psychological wellbeing. Such demands can have an adverse influence on individual and organizational performance. To investigate the nature of self and social supports and mental health among construction professionals, an exploratory study was undertaken using the Stress and Mental Health Survey. The survey was distributed to construction professionals throughout Australia and 449 responses were received. Analysis revealed that those working for a contracting organization on-site reported higher levels of poor mental health and greater work stress than consultants. Those working on-site also experienced greater levels of self-stress, whereas consultants reported higher levels of self and work support. Work support was a significant predictor of poor mental health for consultants. Good health, however, was predicted by self, situational, and work support, whereas those working for a contractor only self-support predicated good mental health. It is concluded that while supports are essential in the fostering of good mental health, the absence of these supports can have a significant impact on poor mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-658
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management - ASCE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Construction
  • Mental health
  • Social support
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial Relations
  • Strategy and Management


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