• work stress;
  • depression;
  • informal social support;
  • coping strategies;
  • Chinese


This article investigated the relationship between job stressors and employee mental health (depression). It also examined the direct and moderating effects of informal social support (objective and subjective) and coping (active coping, overeating and drinking, passivity, and distancing) on the relationships. Survey data were collected from 843 employees in eight types of domestic- and foreign-invested enterprises in China. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that increased exposure to job stressors was directly associated with higher levels of depression. Subjective informal social support and passivity were found to have direct effect on employees' depression. Further, objective informal social support and distancing buffered the negative effect of job stressors on depression. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed in the paper. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.