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Work and well-being in a comparative perspective - the role of family policy
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2011 (English)In: European Sociological Review, ISSN 0266-7215, E-ISSN 1468-2672, Vol. 27, no 1, 16-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study investigates whether associations between well-being and paid work and housework, respectively, differ between European family policy models, and whether any such differences can be attributed to differences in the experience of work–family conflict. Analysing data on mothers and fathers in 18 European countries, the study finds that the traditional family policy model shows the most positive association between women’s well-being and paid working hours, although this association is concealed by work–family conflict. Possibly, the selection into long paid working hours of women with rewarding jobs is greater here than elsewhere. Women’s housework hours are also most positively associated with well-being in the traditional model, although well-being decreases when housework hours become too long. In the market-oriented model, women’s paid working hours and housework hours are instead associated with decreasing well-being, the former association appearing to be caused by work–family conflict. The strongest positive association between men’s paid working hours and well-being is found in the market-oriented model, but again, control for work–family conflict reveals positive associations in this and other models. Hence, among both mothers and fathers, work–family conflict appears to be one important reason why paid working hours are not more clearly associated with high levels of well-being.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 27, no 1, 16-30 p.
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54423DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcp051ISI: 000286988300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-54423DiVA: diva2:393939
Available from: 2011-02-01 Created: 2011-02-01 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Happy hour? Studies on well-being and time spent on paid and unpaid work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Happy hour? Studies on well-being and time spent on paid and unpaid work
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis focuses on causes and consequences of paid working hours and housework hours among women and men in Sweden and Europe. It consists of four studies.

Study I investigates changes in the division of housework in Swedish couples when they become parents. The study shows that women adjust their housework hours to the number and age of children in the household, whereas men do not. Longer parental leave periods among fathers have the potential to counteract this change towards a more traditional division of housework.

Study II explores the associations between psychological distress and paid working hours, housework hours and total role time in Sweden. The results suggest that women’s psychological distress decreases with increasing paid working hours and housework hours, but that a long total role time is associated with high levels of distress. The gender difference in time spent on housework accounts for 40 per cent of the gender difference in psychological distress.

Study III asks whether hours spent on paid work and housework account for the European gender difference in well-being, and whether the associations between well-being and hours of paid work and housework is influenced by gender attitudes and social comparison. The results indicate that gender differences in time spent on paid work and housework account for a third of the gender difference in well-being. Gender attitudes and social comparison do not to any great extent influence the associations between well-being and paid work and housework, respectively.

Study IV examines possible differences between European family policy models in the associations between well-being and hours of paid work and housework. Some model differences are found, and they are accounted for by experiences of work-family conflict among men, but not among women. For both women and men, work-family conflict appears to suppress positive aspects of paid working hours.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutet för social forskning (SOFI), 2008. 25 p.
Series
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 74
Keyword
Well-being, paid work, housework, gender equality, family policy, parental leave, social comparison, Sweden, Europe
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8239 (URN)978-91-7155-73-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-11-07, hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-10-16 Created: 2008-10-13 Last updated: 2012-01-19Bibliographically approved

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