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Stress in paid and unpaid work as related to cortisol and subjective health complaints in women working in the public health care sector
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; The Swedish School of Sport and Health Science, Sweden.
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2017 (English)In: International Journal of Workplace Health Management, ISSN 1753-8351, E-ISSN 1753-836X, Vol. 10, no 4, 286-299 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Focusing on 420 women employed within the woman-dominated health care sector, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how any variation in their total workload (TWL) in terms of paid and unpaid work relate to various subjective health complaints (SHC) (n=420) and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).

Design/methodology/approach: The authors explored how any variation in their TWL in terms of paid and unpaid work related cross-sectionally to SHC (n=420), and the neuroendocrine stress marker cortisol (n=68).

Findings: Hierarchical regression analyses showed that stress of unpaid work was most strongly related to diurnal variations in cortisol. Both stress of paid and unpaid work as well as TWL stress, but not hours spent on TWL, were related to SHC.

Practical implications: Taken together, objective measures of hours spent on various TWL domains were unrelated to outcome measures while perceptions of having too much TWL and TWL stress were linked to both cortisol and SHC, i.e. how individuals perceive a situation seem to be more important for health than the actual situation, which has implications for research and efforts to reduce individual TWL.

Originality/value: This study is unique in showing that unpaid work and perceptions having too much TWL relate to stress markers in women working in the public health care sector.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 10, no 4, 286-299 p.
Keyword [en]
stress, paid work, unpaid work, cortisol, subjective health complaints, total workload
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145504DOI: 10.1108/IJWHM-12-2016-0086ISI: 000407075400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145504DiVA: diva2:1129878
Note

This research was supported by AFA Insurance, by Stockholm University post doc position to the first author. The last author was partially supported by Stockholm Stress Center, a FORTE center of excellence.

Available from: 2017-08-07 Created: 2017-08-07 Last updated: 2017-09-18Bibliographically approved

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