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Psychological Distress is increasing among customer-facing retail employees: Evidence from 1997 to 2015


  • Patel, Pankaj C.
  • Pearce, John A.
  • Bachrach, Daniel G.


Do customer-facing retail employees in the US have a higher prevalence of psychological distress? We examine psychological distress in a sample that includes 19,832 customer-facing retail employees from a sample of 1,115,280 employees of a cross-sectional National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 1997 through 2015. Our results show that customer-facing retail employees report significantly higher psychological distress than do employees in other industries and that its prevalence is increasing. These findings are consistent with mild and high levels of psychological distress. LASSO regression shows that, after self-reported health and poverty level, being a customer-facing retail employee is the third most important predictor of psychological distress.

Suggested Citation

  • Patel, Pankaj C. & Pearce, John A. & Bachrach, Daniel G., 2018. "Psychological Distress is increasing among customer-facing retail employees: Evidence from 1997 to 2015," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 21-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:89:y:2018:i:c:p:21-26
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.04.009

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    References listed on IDEAS

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