Research has suggested that gender is related to perceptions of work-family conflict (WFC) and an underlying assumption is that interference of paid work with family life will burden women more than men. There is, however, mixed evidence as to whether men and women report different levels of WFC. Even less studies investigate gender differences in health outcomes of WFC. Also the number of longitudinal studies in this field is low.
Based on the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health, we prospectively examined the effects of WFC on three different health measures representing a wide spectrum off ill health (i.e. self-rated health, emotional exhaustion and problem drinking). Logistic regression analyses were used to analyse multivariate associations between WFC in 2008 and health 2 years later.
The results show that WFC was associated with an increased risk of emotional exhaustion among both men and women. Gender differences are suggested as WFC was related to an increased risk for poor self-rated health among women and problem drinking among men. Interaction analyses revealed that the risk of poor self-rated health was substantially more influenced by WFC among women than among men.
We conclude that, despite the fact that women experience conflict between work and family life slightly more often than men, both men's and women's health is negatively affected by this phenomenon.
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