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Roxburgh; Gender Differences in Work and Well-Being.docx

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Western University
Sociology 3308F/G
Kim Shuey

Roxburgh; "Gender differences in Work and Well-Being: Effects of Exposure and Vulnerability Wednesday, February 12, 2014 3:22 PM • Evidence shows women's differential exposure to job stressors • Evidence shows women are more vulnerable to stressors • Two competing explanations to gender differences in distress o Differential vulnerability hypothesis • Differnces to response to social environment esult in women experiencing same environmental cues as more stressful o Differential exposure hypothesis • Employed women's greater distress is a result of their higher exposure to stress relative to employed men • Small number of comparable men and women roles makes examination of distress differences difficult • How combination of work and home roles makes unique stressors for women o Gender-specific role experiences • Employed women more likely to experience situations stressful for women and men • Women's jobs tend to have lower income and prestige • Less likely to have high on the job control and complexity • These characteristics have been implicaed in the job stress-distress relationship • Differential effects of job conditions on well-being, differetial availability of workplace resources, such as co-worker support • Differential vulnerability needs to be considered because o Several sources suggest men and women are differentially vulnerable to conditions affecting well-being o Convergence in women and men's roles • Gender increases likelihood of encountering certain types of stressors • Potential problem with comparability; likelihood of differential selection effects • Women vulnerable to job stressors can select themselves out of the labor market more readily than men • Need to evaluate full and part time jobs • Helps eliminate problem of selection effects • Study focuses on stress as an outcome due to gender differe, tests job stress model that includes a number of job characteristics determined to be important on wel-being, considers the affect work characteristics has on mens and womens mental health on a wide rang of work hours, controlling for gender differences Job Stress Model • Draws on Karasek and Theorell's demand/latitude model and kohn and schoolers concept of occupational self-direction • Demands and pressures considered harmful only in absence of on the job strategies for coping • Job latitude determined by closeness of supervision, routinization of work, complexity of work • Job demands/pressures measured as perceived job demadns and hours worked Role of Social Support •Number of sources identify social support in workplace as a means to help workers with job strain •This support has been regarded as particularly important in explaining beneficial effects of work for women •Differentially significant for men and women's well-being •Two possibility with regards to vulnerability and exposure o Gender differences in amount of coworker support men and women perceive o Impact of social support may differ •Coworker support may have less of an impact on women's well-being •Part of findings would suggest women's increased distress due to less useful social support Methods The Analytic Strategy •Consider whether occupational directin moderates impact of job demands •Control for gender •Addresses following issues o Are women exposed to higher levels of job stress? • Higher demands, lower occupational direction, lower coworker social support? o Controlling for exposure, are there differences in impact of particular job stress on men and women? • Test gender differnces of vulnerability to job stressors o Gender differnces in intervening effect of demands? The Sample •Participants in community epidemiology stuy of mental disorders, drug and alchol abuse in metro toronto •18-55 •Spoke english, physically and mentally capable •Sampling done by stats canada • Response rate of 73% •Data collected by trained interviewers in face-to-face 2 hour interviews Measures •Distress noted on depression scale •Occupational self-direction o Two subective measures; perceived routinization, perceived job control o One objective measure: substantive complexity •Job Demands o Two
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