Conceptualizing the dynamics of mental health among construction supervisors

Janet M. Nwaogu, Albert P.C. Chan, Tobi A. Akinyemi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Workplace health and safety within the construction industry has focused on physical safety. Over time, mental ill-health has become a crisis within the construction industry. Hence, attention is drawn to the need to look into employees’ mental health because there is no health and safety without mental health. In order to combat the mental ill-health crisis, there is a need for the construction workplace to be psychologically safe. Although evidence on mental health in the Nigerian construction industry is limited, recent data suggest a high prevalence of depressive symptoms. Therefore, this study aims to create awareness of intervention strategies to alleviate mental health problems in the construction industry. A total of 174 survey data was collected from construction supervisors, and six project managers partook in expert discussions for the system dynamics model (SDM) development. Data were analyzed using descriptive analysis, univariate logistic regression, and SDM. Combined interventions were more impactful than single interventions in reducing and preventing the prevalence of mental ill-health because they cater to clusters of risk factors that may be present at individual and organizational levels. The study suggests that risk factors related to job control and job support should be doubled to maintain their protective ability, while job demand should be reduced by at least half to mitigate mental ill-health prevalence effectively. System dynamics modelling offers human resource and labour managers an avenue for system-based decision-making within the construction industry. This study shows that significant policy improvements related to job control, job support, and working conditions are required, as minor changes will not be appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • construction supervisors
  • Mental ill-health
  • psychologically safe workplace
  • system dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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