IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Paid work, unpaid work and social support: A study of the health of male and female nurses

Listed author(s):
  • Walters, Vivienne
  • Lenton, Rhonda
  • French, Susan
  • Eyles, John
  • Mayr, Janet
  • Newbold, Bruce

Paid work, unpaid work in the home and social support are important elements of the social production of health and illness, though their combined effects on both women and men have only recently become a focus of research. This paper examines their association with the health problems of nurses, presenting data from a survey of a proportional random sample of 2285 male and female nurses registered in the Province of Ontario. The data are first analysed for the full sample and then multiple regression analyses are run separately for male and female Registered Nurses. The demands of paid work (overload, exposure to hazards), unpaid work (time pressures, caring for a dependent adult) and overall stress in life are associated with greater health problems. There is also evidence of significant links between social support and health. A poor relationship with a supervisor is associated with health problems. On the other hand, enjoying a confiding relationship with a friend and having up to 4 children reduces the likelihood of experiencing health problems. The features of nursing associated with fewer health problems are challenge, satisfaction with work and working under 20 hours a week. Several common themes emerge in the analyses of women and men: overload, hazard exposure, satisfaction with work, having 3-4 children and level of overall stress in life. Yet the models are also very different and point to the need for further analyses of the social production of health problems in relation to gender. They also suggest that female nurses, in particular, may suffer the effects of restructuring in the health care sector. Workload issues are especially important for women. Younger women, those reporting time pressures and caring for a dependent adult are more likely to report health problems. Having a confiding relationship with a friend is associated with fewer health problems for women. Among men, those who dislike housework are more likely to experience health problems. Satisfaction with work and overall stress in life were associated with health problems for both men and women, though there may be gender differences in what generates satisfaction and stress.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 43 (1996)
Issue (Month): 11 (December)
Pages: 1627-1636

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:43:y:1996:i:11:p:1627-1636
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Postal:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:43:y:1996:i:11:p:1627-1636. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.