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Gender differences in self-reported health - the significance of inequality in domestic work
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4773-1447
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 29, no Suppl. 4, article id ckz187.201Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Gender difference in health is an important public health issue. Although biological factors contribute, social processes and living conditions create, maintain and exacerbate health differences between women and men. The aim of this study was to examine if lack of equality in domestic work contributes to the explanation of gender differences in self-reported mental well-being, common symptoms and persistent illness.

Methods: Population based questionnaire data on co-habiting women and men in Sweden, aged 19-64 years (n = 2666), was used. Division of planning and performing domestic work, satisfaction with division of domestic work and equality in partner relationship, were analysed in relation to health outcomes using binary logistic regression analysis with adjustments for age, income, country of birth, occupational class, weekly hours in paid work and number of children.

Results: Women, compared to men, showed higher odds (OR) for having low mental well-being, OR 1.35 (1.07-1.70), > 7 common symptoms, OR 1.98 (CI 1.59-2.46) and ≥ 1 persistent illness, OR 1.25 (CI 1.06-1.47). When equal partner relationship and planning and performing domestic work were included in the regression, the ORs for mental well-being and persistent illness slightly weakened and decreased to non-significance when satisfaction with division of domestic work were analysed, OR 1.14 (0.99-1.44) and OR 1.18 (0.99-1.39) respectively. Corresponding ORs for common symptoms were almost unchanged throughout the analysis.

Conclusions: Satisfaction with division of domestic work contributed to explanation of gender differences in persistent illness and notably to differences in mental well-being.

Key messages:

  • Inequality in domestic work could contribute to explanation of gender difference in health.

  • Satisfaction in division of domestic work is of specific relevance in gender difference in mental health.

© Staland Nyman & Hensing 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Vol. 29, no Suppl. 4, article id ckz187.201
Keywords [en]
biological factors, child, income, job satisfaction, mental health, personal satisfaction, public health medicine, persistence, health outcomes, gender differences, living arrangements, symptom aggravating factors, self-report
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-41031DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckz187.201OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-41031DiVA, id: diva2:1372927
Conference
12th European Public Health Conference Building bridges for solidarity and public health, Marseille, France, November 20-23, 2019
Available from: 2019-11-25 Created: 2019-11-25 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved

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Staland Nyman, Carin

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