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Workload, work stress, and sickness absence in Swedish male and female white‐collar employees.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
2006 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, Vol. 34, no 3, 238-246 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: This study aimed to analyse, in a homogeneous population of highly educated men and women, gender differences in self‐reported sickness absence as related to paid and unpaid work and combinations of these (double exposure), as well as to perceived work stress and work–home conflict, i.e. conflict between demands from the home and work environment. Methods: A total of 743 women and 596 men, full‐time working white‐collar employees randomly selected from the general Swedish population aged 32–58, were assessed by a Swedish total workload instrument. The influence of conditions in paid and unpaid work and combinations of these on self‐reported sickness absence was investigated by multivariate regression analyses. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to assess differences between men and women. Results: Overtime was associated with lower sickness absence, not only for men but also for women, and a double‐exposure situation did not increase the risk of sick leave. Contrary to what is normally seen, conflict between demands did not emerge as a risk factor for sickness absence for women, but for men. Conclusions: Our assumption that sickness absence patterns would be more similar for white‐collar men and women than for the general population was not confirmed. However, the women working most hours were also the least sick‐listed and assumed less responsibility for household chores. These women were mainly in top‐level positions and therefore we conclude that men and women in these high‐level positions seem to share household burdens more evenly, but they can also afford to employ someone to assist in the household.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 34, no 3, 238-246 p.
Keyword [en]
total workload, work stress, work-home conflict, gender differences
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-13488DOI: doi:10.1080/14034940500327372OAI: diva2:180008
Available from: 2008-04-09 Created: 2008-04-09 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Krantz, GunillaLundberg, Ulf
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Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS)Department of Psychology

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