IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v58y2004i12p2585-2600.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Gender differences in health: a Canadian study of the psychosocial, structural and behavioural determinants of health

Author

Listed:
  • Denton, Margaret
  • Prus, Steven
  • Walters, Vivienne

Abstract

Gender-based inequalities in health have been frequently documented. This paper examines the extent to which these inequalities reflect the different social experiences and conditions of men's and women's lives. We address four specific questions. Are there gender differences in mental and physical health? What is the relative importance of the structural, behavioural and psychosocial determinants of health? Are the gender differences in health attributable to the differing structural (socio-economic, age, social support, family arrangement) context in which women and men live, and to their differential exposure to lifestyle (smoking, drinking, exercise, diet) and psychosocial (critical life events, stress, psychological resources) factors? Are gender differences in health also attributable to gender differences in vulnerability to these structural, behavioural and psychosocial determinants of health? Multivariate analyses of Canadian National Population Health Survey data show gender differences in health (measured by self-rated health, functional health, chronic illness and distress). Social structural and psychosocial determinants of health are generally more important for women and behavioural determinants are generally more important for men. Gender differences in exposure to these forces contribute to inequalities in health between men and women, however, statistically significant inequalities remain after controlling for exposure. Gender-based health inequalities are further explained by differential vulnerabilities to social forces between men and women. Our findings suggest the value of models that include a wide range of health and health-determinant variables, and affirm the importance of looking more closely at gender differences in health.

Suggested Citation

  • Denton, Margaret & Prus, Steven & Walters, Vivienne, 2004. "Gender differences in health: a Canadian study of the psychosocial, structural and behavioural determinants of health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(12), pages 2585-2600, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:58:y:2004:i:12:p:2585-2600
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(03)00472-6
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Busschbach, Jan J. V. & Hessing, Dick J. & De Charro, Frank Th., 1993. "The utility of health at different stages in life: A quantitative approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 153-158.
    2. Eva Rodríguez-Míguez & José Luis Pinto, 1999. "The social value of health programs: Is age a relevant factor?," Working Papers 9904, Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada.
    3. William Thomson, 2007. "Fair Allocation Rules," RCER Working Papers 539, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    4. Browning, Colette J. & Thomas, Shane A., 2001. "Community values and preferences in transplantation organ allocation decisions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 853-861.
    5. Green, Paul E & Srinivasan, V, 1978. " Conjoint Analysis in Consumer Research: Issues and Outlook," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 103-123, Se.
    6. Moulin, Herve, 1994. "Social choice," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 31, pages 1091-1125 Elsevier.
    7. Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    8. Eva Rodríguez & José Luis Pinto, 2000. "The social value of health programmes: is age a relevant factor?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(7), pages 611-621.
    9. Maurice Salles, 2005. "Social Choice," Post-Print halshs-00337075, HAL.
    10. Beggs, S. & Cardell, S. & Hausman, J., 1981. "Assessing the potential demand for electric cars," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-19, September.
    11. Julie Ratcliffe, 2000. "Public preferences for the allocation of donor liver grafts for transplantation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 137-148.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Irene Moor & Thomas Lampert & Katharina Rathmann & Benjamin Kuntz & Petra Kolip & Jacob Spallek & Matthias Richter, 2014. "Explaining educational inequalities in adolescent life satisfaction: do health behaviour and gender matter?," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), pages 309-317.
    2. Weden, Margaret M & Astone, Nan M & Bishai, David, 2006. "Racial, ethnic, and gender differences in smoking cessation associated with employment and joblessness through young adulthood in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 303-316, January.
    3. Chun, Heeran & Khang, Young-Ho & Kim, Il-Ho & Cho, Sung-Il, 2008. "Explaining gender differences in ill-health in South Korea: The roles of socio-structural, psychosocial, and behavioral factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(6), pages 988-1001, September.
    4. Prus, Steven G., 2011. "Comparing social determinants of self-rated health across the United States and Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 50-59, July.
    5. Karen Watkins, 2016. "Health, Leisure, and Life Cycle: A Gender Approach in the Tropics," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 1049-1064, April.
    6. Sarma, Sisira & Hawley, Gordon & Basu, Kisalaya, 2009. "Transitions in living arrangements of Canadian seniors: Findings from the NPHS longitudinal data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1106-1113, March.
    7. Zunzunegui, Maria-Victoria & Alvarado, Beatriz-Eugenia & Béland, François & Vissandjee, Bilkis, 2009. "Explaining health differences between men and women in later life: A cross-city comparison in Latin America and the Caribbean," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 235-242, January.
    8. García-Calvente, Mar & Marcos-Marcos, Jorge & del Río-Lozano, María & Hidalgo-Ruzzante, Natalia & Maroto-Navarro, Gracia, 2012. "Embedded gender and social changes underpinning inequalities in health: An ethnographic insight into a local Spanish context," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 2225-2232.
    9. Christian Kroll, 2011. "Different Things Make Different People Happy: Examining Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being by Gender and Parental Status," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 157-177, October.
    10. Wisdom, Jennifer P. & Berlin, Michelle & Lapidus, Jodi A., 2005. "Relating health policy to women's health outcomes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(8), pages 1776-1784, October.
    11. André-Petersson, Lena & Engström, Gunnar & Hedblad, Bo & Janzon, Lars & Rosvall, Maria, 2007. "Social support at work and the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in women and men," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 830-841, February.
    12. repec:eee:socmed:v:191:y:2017:i:c:p:202-211 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Likwang Chen & Winnie Yip & Ming-Cheng Chang & Hui-Sheng Lin & Shyh-Dye Lee & Ya-Ling Chiu & Yu-Hsuan Lin, 2007. "The effects of Taiwan's National Health Insurance on access and health status of the elderly," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 223-242.
    14. Read, Jen'nan Ghazal & Gorman, Bridget K., 2006. "Gender inequalities in US adult health: The interplay of race and ethnicity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(5), pages 1045-1065, March.
    15. Fritzell, Sara & Ringbäck Weitoft, Gunilla & Fritzell, Johan & Burström, Bo, 2007. "From macro to micro: The health of Swedish lone mothers during changing economic and social circumstances," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 2474-2488, December.
    16. Chiara Rollero & Silvia Gattino & Norma De Piccoli, 2014. "A Gender Lens on Quality of Life: The Role of Sense of Community, Perceived Social Support, Self-Reported Health and Income," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 116(3), pages 887-898, May.
    17. Hung-Hao Chang & Rodolfo Nayga & Kung-Chi Chan, 2011. "Gendered Analyses of Nutrient Deficiencies Among the Elderly," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 268-279, June.
    18. Lee, Chioun & Ryff, Carol D., 2016. "Early parenthood as a link between childhood disadvantage and adult heart problems: A gender-based approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 58-66.
    19. Kirsi Talala & Taina Huurre & Hillevi Aro & Tuija Martelin & Ritva Prättälä, 2008. "Socio-demographic Differences in Self-reported Psychological Distress Among 25- to 64-Year-Old Finns," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 86(2), pages 323-335, April.
    20. Nakhaie, Reza & Arnold, Robert, 2010. "A four year (1996-2000) analysis of social capital and health status of Canadians: The difference that love makes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(5), pages 1037-1044, September.
    21. Chen, Duan-Rung & Chang, Ly-Yun & Yang, Meng-Li, 2008. "Gender-specific responses to social determinants associated with self-perceived health in Taiwan: A multilevel approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(10), pages 1630-1640, November.
    22. Ford-Gilboe, Marilyn & Wuest, Judith & Varcoe, Colleen & Davies, Lorraine & Merritt-Gray, Marilyn & Campbell, Jacquelyn & Wilk, Piotr, 2009. "Modelling the effects of intimate partner violence and access to resources on women's health in the early years after leaving an abusive partner," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1021-1029, March.
    23. Macleod, John & Davey Smith, George & Metcalfe, Chris & Hart, Carole, 2005. "Is subjective social status a more important determinant of health than objective social status? Evidence from a prospective observational study of Scottish men," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(9), pages 1916-1929, November.
    24. Karen M. Kobayashi & Steven Prus, 2007. "Explaining the Health Gap Between Canadian- and Foreign-Born Older Adults: Findings from the 2000/2001 Canadian Community Health Survey," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 211, McMaster University.
    25. Orfila, Francesc & Ferrer, Montserrat & Lamarca, Rosa & Tebe, Cristian & Domingo-Salvany, Antonia & Alonso, Jordi, 2006. "Gender differences in health-related quality of life among the elderly: The role of objective functional capacity and chronic conditions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(9), pages 2367-2380, November.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:58:y:2004:i:12:p:2585-2600. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.