Do Boycotts Harm Retail Workers?

  • Sarah Irdina Ridzwan
  • Sarah Batrisyia Ridzwan
  • Anizah Zainuddin


The aim of this study is to analyse the impact of boycotts on the mental health of retail workers in Malaysia. Specifically, the study examines the risk factors associated with mental health disorders among retail workers during boycotts. A convenience sampling technique was used to interview 350 retail workers in fast food restaurants in the Klang Valley. Participants completed a questionnaire based on the Beck Depression Inventory. The results of the study showed that the majority of scores fell between 17 and 20, indicating borderline clinical depression. Scores of 21-30 placed employees in the moderate depression category. Multiple regression analysis confirmed that fatigue or loss of energy, guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness were the main predictors of self-perceived work performance during the boycott among retail workers. This research provides new insights into the risk of psychological distress among retail workers during boycotts. These findings may suggest appropriate prevention and intervention strategies to reduce the burden of depression. The study provides new knowledge that may improve the understanding and management of mental health disorders among retail workers.


American Psychiatric Association, D., & American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5 (Vol. 5, No. 5). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
A Zainuddin, SI Ridzwan, SB Ridzwan (2023), Role of Trust and Relationship Enhance Retail Halal Supply Chain Practices and Customers’ Perception of Halal Compliance, International Journal of Social Science Research, Vol 5 No 1 (2023): March 2023.
A Zainuddin, SI Ridzwan, SB Ridzwan (2022), Will the Modest Fashion Industry Survive? Covid-19 Puts Fashion Modest Business to the Test, Asian Journal of Research in Business and Management, e-ISSN: 2682-8510, Vol. 4, No. 3, 345-356,2022.
A Zainuddin, SI Ridzwan, SB Ridzwan (2021), Retail Halal Control Points – Which Control Process Can Be Applied Digitally? Romanian Journal of Information Technology and Automatic Control, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 41-52.
A Zainuddin, SI Ridzwan, SB Ridzwan (2020), The Role of Halalan-Toyyiban Supply Chain Practices as Significant Predictors towards Excellent Customer Service Management, Advances in Business Research International Journal 6 (1), 1-10
A Zainuddin, SM Shariff (2016), Preferences for Halalan Toyyiban Retail Supply Chain Certification: A Case of Hypermarket, Procedia Economics and Finance, 37, 405-411.
Batterham, P. J., Christensen, H., & Mackinnon, A. J. (2009). Modifiable risk factors predicting major depressive disorder at four-year follow-up: a decision tree approach. BMC psychiatry, 9(1), 1-8
Beirão, D., Monte, H., Amaral, M., Longras, A., Matos, C., & Villas-Boas, F. (2020). Depression in adolescence: a review. Middle East current psychiatry, 27, 1-9.
Blakemore, S. J. (2019). Adolescence and mental health. The lancet, 393(10185), 2030-2031.
Choudhury, A. A., Khan, M. R. H., Nahim, N. Z., Tulon, S. R., Islam, S., & Chakrabarty, A. (2019). Predicting depression in Bangladeshi undergraduates using machine learning. In 2019 IEEE Region 10 Symposium (TENSYMP) (pp. 789-794). IEEE).
Drucker, H., & Cortes, C. (1995). Boosting decision trees. Advances in neural information processing systems, 8.
Harris, L.M., Matthews, L.R., Penrose-Wall, J., Alam, A. and Jaworski, A. (2014), “Perspectives on barriers to employment for job seekers with mental illness and additional substance-use problems”, Health & Social Care in the Community, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 67-77.
Hennekam, S., Richard, S. and Grima, F. (2020), "Coping with mental health conditions at work and its impact on self-perceived job performance", Employee Relations, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 626-645.
Hennekam, S. (2019). How to Adapt a Research Design to the Particularities of a Vulnerable Group of Workers Under Study. SAGE Publications Ltd.
Halldorsdottir, T., Piechaczek, C., Soares de Matos, A. P., Czamara, D., Pehl, V., Wagenbuechler, P., ... & Binder, E. B. (2019). Polygenic risk: predicting depression outcomes in clinical and epidemiological cohorts of youths. American Journal of Psychiatry, 176(8), 615-625.
Isaksson, A., Corker, E., Cotney, J., Hamilton, S., Pinfold, V., Rose, D., Rüsch, N.,Henderson, C., Thornicroft, G. and Evans-Lacko, S. (2018), “Coping with stigma and discrimination: evidence from mental health service users in England”, .Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 577-588.
Ibrahim, M. F., Ismail, W. S. W., Jaafar, N. R. N., Mokhtaruddin, U. K. M., Ong, H. Y., Bakar, N. H. A., & Sahimi, H. M. S. (2022). Depression and its association with self-esteem and lifestyle factors among school-going adolescents in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13.
Institute for Public Health 2020. National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019: Non-communicable diseases, healthcare demand, and health literacy—Key Findings
Jani, B. D., McLean, G., Nicholl, B. I., Barry, S. J., Sattar, N., Mair, F. S., & Cavanagh, J. (2015). Risk assessment and predicting outcomes in patients with depressive symptoms: a review of potential role of peripheral blood-based biomarkers. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 18.
Johnson, D., Dupuis, G., Piche, J., Clayborne, Z., & Colman, I. (2018). Adult mental health outcomes of adolescent depression: A systematic review. Depression and Anxiety, 35, 700–716.
Marzo, R. R., Vinay, V., Bahari, R., Chauhan, S., Ming, D. A. F., Fernandez, S., ... & Goel, S. (2021). Depression and anxiety in Malaysian population during third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical epidemiology and global health, 12, 100868.
N. B., Yaacob, N. M., Ahmad, N. A., Abdullah, S., Naidu, B. M., & Aris, T. (2019). Depression severity and its associated factors among school-Going adolescents in Malaysia. J. Depress. Anxiety, 8, 2167-1044.)
Pössel, P., Smith, E. Integrating Beck’s Cognitive Theory of Depression and the Hopelessness Model in an Adolescent Sample. J Abnorm Child Psychol 48, 435–451 (2020).
Ridzwan, Sarah Irdina; Zainuddin, Anizah. Touchless Retail Technology: The Effect of Customer Loyalty on the Relationship Between TOE and Retail Technology Adoption. International Journal of Business and Technology Management, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 4, p. 388-399, dec. 2023. ISSN 2682-7646.
Sahril, N., Ahmad, N. A., Idris, I. B., Sooryanarayana, R., & Abd Razak, M. A. (2021). Factors associated with mental health problems among Malaysian children: a large population-based study. Children, 8(2), 119.
Talebi, M., Matheson, K. and Anisman, H. (2016), “The stigma of seeking help for mental health issues: Mediating roles of support and coping and the moderating role of symptom profile”, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 46 No. 8, pp. 470-482.
Thapar, A., Collishaw, S., Pine, D. S., & Thapar, A. K. (2012). Depression in adolescence. The lancet, 379(9820), 1056-1067.
Weissman, J., Russell, D., Jay, M., Beasley, J.M., Malaspina, D. and Pegus, C. (2017), “Disparities in health care utilization and functional limitations among adults with serious psychological distress, 2006-2014”, Psychiatric Services, Vol. 68 No. 7, pp. 653-659.
WHO. Adolescent Mental Health. World Health Organisation (2021).
How to Cite
RIDZWAN, Sarah Irdina; RIDZWAN, Sarah Batrisyia; ZAINUDDIN, Anizah. Do Boycotts Harm Retail Workers?. International Journal of Advanced Research in Economics and Finance, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 117-128, mar. 2024. ISSN 2682-812X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 may 2024.
English Section