Prevalence and Risk Factors for Poor Mental Health and Suicidal Ideation in the Nigerian Construction Industry

Janet M. Nwaogu, Albert P.C. Chan, Riza Yosia Sunindijo, Amos Darko, Jackie Y. Yang, Dauda Salihu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Employees' mental health and well-being are a growing concern as countries grapple with heightened mental ill-health and suicide rates, with the construction industry ranking in the top five. Drawing from the context of a developing country, particularly Nigeria, data were collected using mixed methods (i.e., survey and postsurvey interview). The study investigated mental health among 382 construction personnel. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-2) scales were employed in assessing mental health. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. The prevalence rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation were 55.1%, 16%, 9.8% among supervisors, 72%, 36.9%, and 15.3%, respectively, among tradesmen. Univariate logistic regression revealed that years of experience and organizational structure influence mental health. Multiple logistic regression showed that risk factors for mental ill-health include nature of work, little relationship with colleagues, job insecurity, occupational injury, low income, and unsatisfactory living conditions. The findings from this study will assist in intervention building and policy-making within the construction industry of Nigeria and globally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05022021
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Anxiety
  • Construction industry
  • Depression
  • Stressors
  • Suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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