Sex differences in physical and mental functioning of Japanese civil servants: Explanations from work and family characteristics
Department of Welfare Promotion and Epidemiology, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194, Japan. Social Science [?] Medicine
(Impact Factor: 2.89).
10/2010; 71(12):2091-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.09.031
Poor physical and mental functioning are more common among women than men and those with disadvantaged work and family characteristics. This study aims to clarify whether sex differences in health functioning can be explained by sex differences in work and family characteristics. The subjects were 3787 civil servants (2525 men and 1262 women), aged 20-65, working in a local government on the west coast of Japan. A questionnaire survey was conducted in January 2003. Low employment grade, high demands, long work hours, shift work, being unmarried, having no young children, high family-to-work conflict and high work-to-family conflict were more common among women than men and were independently associated with poor physical and mental functioning. The age-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of women for poor health functioning were 1.80 for poor physical functioning and 1.77 for poor mental functioning. When adjusted for employment grade and work characteristics (control, demand, support, work hours, and shift work), the sex differences in health functioning attenuated. When adjusted for family characteristics (family structure and work-family conflicts), the sex differences in health functioning further attenuated and were no longer statistically significant. Sex differences in family characteristics contributed more to sex difference in mental functioning than sex differences in work characteristics. Japan belongs to conservative welfare regimes. In such countries, men are able to concentrate on their work with relative freedom from their family tasks and responsibilities, whereas women feel difficulties in maintaining their work-life balances. Such sex differences in work- and family-related stresses may contribute to sex difference in health. Longitudinal research is necessary to clarify the causal nature of these associations.
Available from: ntu.edu.tw
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ABSTRACT: Employment insecurity and workplace injustice are important psychosocial hazards. However, few studies of these associations have been conducted in Chinese-speaking populations.
This study evaluated the psychometric properties of a Chinese version of employment insecurity and workplace justice scales, and examined their associations with the levels of workers' burnout status in Taiwanese workers.
Study subjects were participants in a national survey of employees in Taiwan, consisting of 9,636 men and 7,406 women. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess employment insecurity (six items) and workplace justice (nine items), as well as other psychosocial work characteristics. After the survey was completed, in-depth interviews with 10 employees were conducted for a qualitative evaluation.
Cronbach's α was 0.87 or greater for the workplace justice scale and 0.76 or greater for the employment insecurity scale, indicating satisfactory internal consistencies. Exploratory factor analyses revealed a factor pattern consistent with the theoretically assumed structure, except that the items with statements in reversed direction were loaded on separated factors. Higher levels of employment insecurity and lower levels of workplace justice were associated with higher burnout scores. However, results from the qualitative interviews suggested that some questionnaire items contained double-barreled questions, and some questions were misinterpreted or considered irrelevant by participants.
The Chinese version of employment insecurity and workplace justice scales were found to have satisfactory reliability and validity. However, improvement of these scales is still needed.
Available from: Colette Fagan
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ABSTRACT: This paper provides a comprehensive synthesis of previous research examining the link between different aspects of working time and outcomes in terms of work-life “integration” or “balance”, which includes but is not limited to the reconciliation of work and family life. It also explicitly considers the extent to which various types of working time arrangements not only facilitate work-life balance, but also promote, or hinder, gender equality in both the labour market and in personal life. These are crucial issues, both because of the continuing prevalence of long hours of work, especially in developing countries, and also in terms of the diversification of working time arrangements away from the so-called “standard workweek” (i.e., a Monday to Friday or Saturday
daytime schedule). The paper begins by conceptualizing and measuring work-life “integration” or “balance”, reviewing the different types of terminology used and the dimensions of working time arrangements pertaining to this topic. It then considers the effects of the volume (quantity) of working hours on work-life balance, and finds that long working hours have been identified as an important predictor of work–life conflict. In contrast, workers working part-time were the most likely to report compatibility between their job and family life, even when compared with women and men without dependent children. Finally, it considers the effects of work schedules on various measures of work-life balance. It concludes that “non-standard” work schedules—such as shift work, night work, and weekend work—substantially increase work–family incompatibility. In contrast, where workers have some autonomy and control over their work schedules, or the scope to choose particular hours of work, this has a positive effect not only on work-life balance, but on workers’ health and well-being as well.
Available from: stroke.ahajournals.org
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