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The importance of low control at work and home on depression and anxiety: do these effects vary by gender and social class?

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  • Griffin, Joan M.
  • Fuhrer, Rebecca
  • Stansfeld, Stephen A.
  • Marmot, Michael

Abstract

In this study we consider both a gender model, a model that focuses on the stress associated with social roles and conditions in the home environment, and a job model, which addresses the stressful characteristics of the work environment, to investigate patterns of women's and men's psychological morbidity across different social positions. Using data from the Whitehall II Study, a longitudinal study of British civil servants, we hypothesise that a lack of control in the home and work environments affects depression and anxiety differently for women and men and across three social class groups. Both women and men with low control either at work or at home had an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety. We did not find an interaction between low control at home and work. We did, however, find that the risks associated with low control either at home or work were not evenly distributed across different social positions, measured by employment grade. Women in the lowest or middle employment grades who also reported low control at work or home were at most risk for depression and anxiety. Men in the middle grade with low work control were at risk for depression while those in the lowest grade were at risk for anxiety. Men in the middle and highest grades, however, were at greatest risk for both outcomes if they reported low control at home. We conclude that, in addition to social roles and characteristics of the work environment, future investigations of gender inequalities in health incorporate variables associated with control at home and social position.

Suggested Citation

  • Griffin, Joan M. & Fuhrer, Rebecca & Stansfeld, Stephen A. & Marmot, Michael, 2002. "The importance of low control at work and home on depression and anxiety: do these effects vary by gender and social class?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 783-798, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:54:y:2002:i:5:p:783-798
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher J. Boyce & Andrew J. Oswald, 2012. "Do people become healthier after being promoted?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 580-596, May.
    2. Evelina Landstedt & Per Gustafsson & Klara Johansson & Anne Hammarström, 2016. "Longitudinal associations between social relationships at age 30 and internalising symptoms at age 42: findings from the Northern Swedish Cohort," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), pages 75-81.
    3. David W. Johnston & Wang-Sheng Lee, 2013. "Extra Status and Extra Stress: Are Promotions Good for Us?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(1), pages 32-54, January.
    4. Inoue, Akiomi & Kawakami, Norito, 2010. "Interpersonal conflict and depression among Japanese workers with high or low socioeconomic status: Findings from the Japan Work Stress and Health Cohort Study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 173-180, July.
    5. repec:hit:cisdps:575 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Antonio Rodríguez & Sunny Collings & Ping Qin, 2008. "Socio-economic differences in suicide risk vary by sex : A population-based case-control study of 18-65 year olds in Denmark," Development Research Working Paper Series 05/2008, Institute for Advanced Development Studies.
    7. Claudia Toma & Vincent Yzerbyt & Olivier Corneille & Stéphanie Demoulin, 2015. "The power of projection for powerless and powerful people," Working Papers CEB 15-028, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Vani Borooah, 2006. "What Makes People Happy? Some Evidence from Northern Ireland," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 427-465, November.
    9. Sen, Gita & Iyer, Aditi, 2012. "Who gains, who loses and how: Leveraging gender and class intersections to secure health entitlements," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 1802-1811.
    10. Mylène Riva & Christina Larsen & Peter Bjerregaard, 2014. "Household crowding and psychosocial health among Inuit in Greenland," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), pages 739-748.
    11. Vani K. Borooah, 2007. "Health and Wealth in the North of Ireland: Is There a “Social Gradient” to Health Outcomes?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(1), pages 85-105.
    12. Marchand, Alain & Bilodeau, Jaunathan & Demers, Andrée & Beauregard, Nancy & Durand, Pierre & Haines, Victor Y., 2016. "Gendered depression: Vulnerability or exposure to work and family stressors?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 160-168.
    13. Gettler, Lee T. & Oka, Rahul C., 2016. "Are testosterone levels and depression risk linked based on partnering and parenting? Evidence from a large population-representative study of U.S. men and women," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 157-167.
    14. Hill, Terrence D. & Needham, Belinda L., 2013. "Rethinking gender and mental health: A critical analysis of three propositions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 83-91.
    15. Borooah, Vani, 2010. "Inequality in health outcomes in India: the role of caste and religion," MPRA Paper 19832, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Bryson, Lois & Warner-Smith, Penny & Brown, Peter & Fray, Leanne, 2007. "Managing the work-life roller-coaster: Private stress or public health issue?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 1142-1153, September.
    17. Sperlich, Stefanie & Geyer, Siegfried, 2015. "The mediating effect of effort-reward imbalance in household and family work on the relationship between education and women's health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 58-65.
    18. Seth Oppong, 2014. "Common Health, Safety and Environmental Concerns in Upstream Oil and Gas Sector: Implications for HSE Management in Ghana," Academicus International Scientific Journal, Entrepreneurship Training Center Albania, issue 9, pages 93-106, January.
    19. Stefanie Sperlich & Siegfried Geyer, 2015. "The impact of social and family-related factors on women’s stress experience in household and family work," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), pages 375-387.
    20. Evelina Landstedt & Per E. Gustafsson & Klara Johansson & Anne Hammarström, 2016. "Longitudinal associations between social relationships at age 30 and internalising symptoms at age 42: findings from the Northern Swedish Cohort," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), pages 75-81.

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