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J Occup Health Psychol. 1996 Apr;1(2):117-30.

Influence of paid and unpaid work on psychophysiological stress responses of men and women.

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Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Sweden.


Female labor force participation has increased considerably, but women's traditional responsibility for home and family has not changed accordingly. Although women's employment per se does not seem to have negative health consequences, studies show that stress from role conflicts and work overload is reflected in women's elevated psychophysiological arousal not only at work but also off work, which may induce psychosomatic symptoms (e.g., cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disorders). In addition, multiple role demands reduce women's possibilities to make a professional career on the same terms as men. Data emphasize the need for a new allocation of work functions between the sexes and the need for organizational changes leading to more influence and control over work to make it possible for both men and women to combine a qualified job with a meaningful family life.

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