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Gender differences in mental health: evidence from three organisations


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  • Emslie, Carol
  • Fuhrer, Rebecca
  • Hunt, Kate
  • Macintyre, Sally
  • Shipley, Martin
  • Stansfeld, Stephen
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    It is commonly observed that women report higher levels of minor psychiatric morbidity than men. However, most research fails to control for the gendered distribution of social roles (e.g. paid work and domestic work) and so does not compare men and women in similar positions. In this short report, we examine the distribution of minor psychiatric morbidity (measured by the 12 item General Health Questionnaire) amongst men and women working in similar jobs within three white-collar organisations in Britain, after controlling for domestic and socioeconomic circumstances. Data from self-completion questionnaires were collected in a Bank (n=2176), a University (n=1641) and the Civil Service (n=6171). In all three organisations women had higher levels of minor psychiatric morbidity than men, but the differences were not great; in only the Civil Service sample did this reach statistical significance. We conclude that generalisations about gender differences in minor psychiatric morbidity can be unhelpful, as these differences may vary depending on the context of the study.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 54 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 4 (February)
    Pages: 621-624

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:54:y:2002:i:4:p:621-624

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    Keywords: Gender Mental health Psychiatric morbidity Social roles;


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    Cited by:
    1. Madden, D, 2008. "Gender Differences in Mental Well- Being: A Decomposition Analysis," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/08, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. David Madden, 2009. "Mental stress in Ireland, 1994-2000: a stochastic dominance approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(10), pages 1202-1217.
    3. David Madden, 2007. "An Analysis of Mental Stress in Ireland, 1994-2000," Working Papers 200710, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
    4. Hoel, Helge & Einarse, St°ale, 2003. "Violence and stress at work in financial services," ILO Working Papers 365072, International Labour Organization.


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