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Multiple roles, health and sickness absence – A five year follow-up study on women in Sweden
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4773-1447
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2011 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 21, no Suppl. 1, p. 275-276Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Labour force participation among women in Sweden is high and many women are combining a professional role with a role as partner and parent. The effect of multiple social roles on women’s health is thus an important public health issue. Multiple social roles and health is also likely to be influenced by cultural and social contexts and welfare support. Two contrasting hypotheses have been put forward; ‘role strain’ i.e. increased demands and conflicts with stress as a result and ‘role enhancement’ i.e. increased access to benefits with positive influence on health. However, few prospective studies have been performed and the aim of this study was to analyse longitudinal associations between changes in number of social roles over a five year follow-up in relation to self-rated physical health, psychological wellbeing, psychiatric disorder and long-term sickness absence.

Methods

Data was derived from a population-based longitudinal cohort. Women with an occupational role (gainfully employed or students) born in 1935, 1945, 1955, 1965, 1970 and 1975 (N =532) were interviewed with a five year follow-up. Occupational, partner and parental roles were assessed. Self-rated information on physical health, psychological wellbeing and long term sickness absence was used, while information on psychiatric disorder was based on structured diagnostic questions at the interviews according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-III-R and DSM-IV. Analyses were performed by multivariate logistic regression.

Results

An increased number of social roles was associated with lower odds for poor psychological well-being, OR 0.43 (CI 0.26–0.72), and for psychiatric disorders, OR 0.67 (0.45–0.99) at follow-up when adjusted for age, socio-economic position, alcohol dependence and abuse and health at baseline. No significant associations were found in relation to poor physical self-rated health and long-term sickness absence and changes in social roles.

Conclusions

This study contributed to the knowledge on longitudinal associations between multiple roles and health. The result indicated that an increased number of social roles were positive in relation to women’s mental health and gave to some extent support for the role enhancement hypothesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Vol. 21, no Suppl. 1, p. 275-276
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-21130DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckr119OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-21130DiVA, id: diva2:588423
Conference
4th European Public Health (EUPHA) Conference: Public Health and Welfare - Welfare Development and Health, Copenhagen, Denmark, 9–12 November, 2011
Available from: 2013-01-15 Created: 2013-01-15 Last updated: 2018-03-22Bibliographically approved

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Staland Nyman, Carin

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