Relatively Different? How do Gender Differences in Well-Being Depend on Paid and Unpaid Work in Europe?
- Katarina Boye
- … show all 1 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Absolute as well as relative hours of paid and unpaid work may influence well-being. This study investigates whether absolute hours spent on paid work and housework account for the lower well-being among women as compared to men in Europe, and whether the associations between well-being and hours of paid work and housework differ by gender attitudes and social context. Attitudes towards women’s and men’s paid work and housework obligations may influence how beneficial or detrimental it is to spend time on these activities, as may social comparison of one’s own hours to the number of hours commonly spent among similar others. A group of 13,425 women and men from 25 European countries are analysed using country fixed-effects models. The results suggest that while men’s well-being appears to be unaffected by hours of paid work and housework, women’s well-being increases with increased paid working hours and decreases with increasing housework hours. Gender differences in time spent on paid work and housework account for a third of the European gender difference in well-being and are thus one reason that women have lower well-being than men have. Gender attitudes do not appear to modify the associations between hours and well-being, but there is a tendency for women’s well-being to be higher the less housework they do compared to other women in the same family situation and country. However, absolute hours of paid work and housework appear to be more important to women’s well-being than relative hours.
- Aliaga, C. (2006). How is the time of women and men distributed in Europe? Statistics in Focus, Population and Social Conditions 4/2006. European Communities.
- Bird, C. E. (1999). Gender, household labor, and psychological distress: The impact of the amount and division of housework. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 40, 32–45. CrossRef
- Bird, C. E., & Fremont, A. M. (1991). Gender, time use, and health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 32, 114–129. CrossRef
- Boye, K. (2008). Time spent working. Is there a link between time spent on paid work and housework and the gender difference in psychological distress? In K. Boye (Ed.), Happy hour? Studies on well-being and time spent on paid and unpaid work. Swedish Institute for Social Research Dissertation Series No. 74.
- Buunk, B. P., Kluwer, E. S., Schuurman, M. K., & Siero, F. W. (2000). The division of labor among egalitarian and traditional women: Differences in discontent, social comparison, and false consensus. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30, 759–779. CrossRef
- Coltrane, S. (2000). Research on household labor: Modeling and measuring the social embeddedness of routine family work. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 1208–1233. CrossRef
- Corrigall, E. A., & Konrad, A. M. (2007). Gender role attitudes and careers: A longitudinal study. Sex Roles, 56, 847–855. CrossRef
- Crompton, R., & Lyonette, C. (2005). The new gender essentialism—Domestic and family ‘choices’ and their relation to attitudes. British Journal of Sociology, 56, 601–620. CrossRef
- Crosby, F. (1976). A model of egoistical relative deprivation. Psychological Review, 83, 85–113. CrossRef
- Cunningham, M. (2005). Gender in cohabitation and marriage—The influence of gender ideology on housework allocation over the life course. Journal of Family Issues, 26, 1037–1061. CrossRef
- Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7, 117–140. CrossRef
- Frankenhaeuser, M., Lundberg, U., Fredrikson, M., Melin, B., Tuomisto, M., Myrsten, A. L., et al. (1989). Stress on and off the job as related to sex and occupational-status in white-collar workers. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 10, 321–346. CrossRef
- Gager, C. T. (1998). The role of valued outcomes, justifications, and comparison referents in perceptions of fairness among dual-earner couples. Journal of Family Issues, 19, 622–648. CrossRef
- Gähler, M., & Rudolphi, F. (2004). När vi två blir tre—Föräldraskap, psykiskt välbefinnande och andra levnadsbetingelser [When two become three—Parenthood, psychological well-being, and other life circumstances]. In M. Bygren, M. Gähler, & M. Nermo (Eds.), Familj och arbete—vardagsliv i förändring [Family and work—everyday life in transition]. Stockholm: SNS Förlag.
- Glass, J., & Fujimoto, T. (1994). Housework, paid work, and depression among husbands and wives. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 35, 179–191. CrossRef
- Goldberg, A. E., & Perry-Jenkins, M. (2004). Division of labor and working-class women’s well-being across the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Psychology, 18, 225–236. CrossRef
- Himsel, A. J., & Goldberg, W. A. (2003). Social comparisons and satisfaction with the division of housework: Implications for men’s and women’s role strain. Journal of Family Issues, 24, 843–866. CrossRef
- Karasek, R., Gardell, B., & Lindell, J. (1987). Work and nonwork correlates of illness and behavior in male and female Swedish white-collar workers. Journal of Occupational Behaviour, 8, 187–207. CrossRef
- Kessler, R. C., & McRae, J. A. (1982). The effect of wives employment on the mental health of married men and women. American Sociological Review, 47, 216–227. CrossRef
- Kroska, A. (1997). The division of labor in the home: A review and reconceptualization. Social Psychology Quarterly, 60, 304–322. CrossRef
- Loscocco, K., & Spitze, G. (2007). Gender patterns in provider role attitudes and behavior. Journal of Family Issues, 28, 934–954. CrossRef
- McDonough, P., & Walters, V. (2001). Gender and health: Reassessing patterns and explanations. Social Science and Medicine, 52, 547–559. CrossRef
- McHale, S. M., & Crouter, A. C. (1992). You can’t always get what you want: Incongruence between sex-role attitudes and family work roles and its implications for marriage. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 54, 537–547. CrossRef
- McRae, S. (2003). Constraints and choices in mothers’ employment careers: A consideration of Hakim’s preference theory. The British Journal of Sociology, 54, 317–338. CrossRef
- Merton, R. (1957). Social theory and social structure. Glencoe: The Free Press.
- Mirowsky, J., & Ross, C. E. (1995). Sex differences in distress—Real or artifact. American Sociological Review, 60, 449–468. CrossRef
- Nordenmark, M. (2004). Does gender ideology explain differences between countries regarding the involvement of women and of men in paid and unpaid work? International Journal of Social Welfare, 13, 233–243. CrossRef
- Perry-Jenkins, M. (1992). Linkages between women’s provider-role attitudes, psychological well-being, and family relationships. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 16, 311–329. CrossRef
- Piña, D. L., & Bengtson, V. L. (1993). The division of household labor and wives happiness—Ideology, employment, and perceptions of support. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55, 901–912. CrossRef
- Psychiatric Research Unit (2008). WHO-Five Well-being Index (WHO-5). Retrieved 02/26, 2008, from http://www.who-5.org.
- Roxburgh, S. (2004). ‘There just aren’t enough hours in the day’: The mental health consequences of time pressure. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 45, 115–131. CrossRef
- Vanyperen, N. W., & Buunk, B. P. (1991). Sex-role attitudes, social-comparison, and satisfaction with relationships. Social Psychology Quarterly, 54, 169–180. CrossRef
- Wheeler, L., & Miyake, K. (1992). Social comparison in everyday life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 760–773. CrossRef
- Relatively Different? How do Gender Differences in Well-Being Depend on Paid and Unpaid Work in Europe?
Social Indicators Research
Volume 93, Issue 3 , pp 509-525
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Paid working hours
- Housework hours
- Gender attitudes
- Social comparison
- Industry Sectors
- Katarina Boye (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden