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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2006 Jun 9;83(1):49-56. Epub 2005 Nov 21.

Work-family conflicts and drinking behaviours among employed women and men.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Finland.



To examine the relationship between work-family conflicts and drinking behaviours among women and men, and to discover whether the relationship remains the same after taking into account family structure and socio-economic status.


Cross-sectional surveys were carried out by postal questionnaires in 2001 and 2002 among female and male municipal employees aged 40-60, of Helsinki, Finland; 4228 women and 1043 men participated, with a response rate of 66%. Dependent variables were heavy drinking-for men >12 standard portions per week and for women >9 portions per week; weekly binge drinking including 6 or more portions per occasion; and problem drinking, as measured by the CAGE questionnaire. Independent variables were work-to-family conflicts and family-to-work conflicts. Covariates were age, family structure, education, income, and occupational class.


Work-family conflicts were strongly related to problem drinking among both women and men and also associated with heavy drinking among women. Taking family structure and socio-economic status into account did not markedly change the relationship between work-family conflicts and heavy drinking among women, but strengthened slightly the association with problem drinking among both women and men.


Work-family conflicts are particularly important issues in problem drinking among men and women and also in heavy drinking among women. Improving the balance between work and family may be a way to prevent problem drinking.

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