International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 134–142

Work–Family Conflicts and Health Behaviors Among British, Finnish, and Japanese Employees

Authors

    • Department of Public HealthUniversity of Helsinki
  • T. Chandola
    • Department of Epidemiology & Public HealthUniversity College London
  • E. Roos
    • Department of Public HealthUniversity of Helsinki
    • Folkhälsan Research Center
  • N. Cable
    • Department of Epidemiology & Public HealthUniversity College London
  • M. Sekine
    • Department of Welfare Promotion and EpidemiologyUniversity of Toyama
  • S. Kagamimori
    • Department of Welfare Promotion and EpidemiologyUniversity of Toyama
  • T. Tatsuse
    • Department of Welfare Promotion and EpidemiologyUniversity of Toyama
  • M. Marmot
    • Department of Epidemiology & Public HealthUniversity College London
  • E. Lahelma
    • Department of Public HealthUniversity of Helsinki
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12529-009-9050-8

Cite this article as:
Lallukka, T., Chandola, T., Roos, E. et al. Int.J. Behav. Med. (2010) 17: 134. doi:10.1007/s12529-009-9050-8

Abstract

Background

Work–family conflicts are associated with poor health. However, work–family conflicts and health behaviors have been little studied.

Purpose

This study examined the associations of conflicts between paid work and family life with unhealthy behaviors among British, Finnish, and Japanese employees.

Method

Data were derived from postal questionnaire surveys among 40 to 60 years old employees from three cohorts, the British Whitehall II Study (n = 3,397), the Finnish Helsinki Health Study (n = 4,958), and the Japanese Civil Servants Study (n = 2,901). Outcomes were current smoking, heavy drinking, physical inactivity, and unhealthy food habits. Work–family conflicts were measured with eight items. Age, marital status, and occupational class were adjusted for in logistic regression analyses.

Results

Work–family conflicts had few and inconsistent associations with unhealthy behaviors in all three cohorts. In the Finnish cohort, strong work–family conflicts were associated with current smoking among men. Women with strong conflicts had more often unhealthy food habits and were more often heavy drinkers than women with weaker conflicts. Likewise, British women with strong work–family conflicts were more often heavy drinkers.

Conclusion

Although work–family conflicts were fairly prevalent in the examined cohorts, these conflicts had but few associations with the studied key health behaviors.

Keywords

SmokingAlcohol drinkingPhysical inactivityFood habitsWork–family conflictsInternational

Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2009