Women's health and labour force status: An enquiry using a multi-point measure of labour force participation

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Abstract

Previous research indicates that working women are healthier than housewives, that the unemployed are less healthy than those currently employed, and that transitions into and out of paid work may be particularly associated with poor health. Women respondents in the 1979 U.S. National Health Interview Survey were divided into five categories: the long term employee, the newly employed, the unemployed, the recently non-employed and the housewife. The categories were compared on six measures of self-reported health and illness behaviour, controlling for age, SES, marital status, and age of youngest child. As expected the long term employees were the healthiest, followed by the recently employed; the unemployed and the housewives were not distinguishable in terms of their health; and the recently non-employed were the least healthy. This pattern was found for both the total sample, and for the sub sample of married mothers. The dynamic relationship between employment status and health, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1987

Keywords

  • labour force
  • self-reported health
  • women's health

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