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Employment and women's health: an analysis of causal relationships

, : Employment and women's health: an analysis of causal relationships. International Journal of Health Services 10(3): 435-454

Housewives report more chronic illness than employed women, and housewives are more likely than employed women to rate their health as poor or fair. Poor health can deter a woman from seeking or keeping a job, and this appears to be one important reason why poor health is reported more frequently by housewives than by employed women. The differences between housewives and employed women in self-reported health do not appear to be due to differences in marital status, race, or education. The available data do not provide an adequate basis for estimating the overall effects of employment on women's health in the contemporary United States. Women in certain jobs are exposed to serious occupational hazards including carcinogens, cotton dust, and infectious agents. Employment may result in increased stress for certain groups of women, but decreased stress for other groups, such as women who are employed part-time. Increased social contact and social support on the job may reduce the risk of illness for employed women. The net effect of employment on women's health appears to vary, depending on the type of job, and probably also on the woman's family situation.


PMID: 7419313

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