Division of labor, perceived labor-related stress and well-being among European couples


Background: The objective of this study was to analyze how involvement in paid and unpaid work and perceived labor-related stress are related to the well-being of married or cohabiting men and women in Europe. Methods: Data from the European Social Survey round two has been used. The sample consists of 5800 women and 6952 men, aged between 18-65 years. Exposure variables were divided into labor involvement, time spent on paid and unpaid work, and labor-related stress. Multiple logistic regressions with 95 % confidence interval were used. Results: Women spent more hours on housework than men did, but fewer hours on paid work. Women tended to perceive higher degrees of housework-related stress than men did. Furthermore, women who experienced houseworkrelated stress tended to have higher odds of reporting a low level of perceived well-being than men, while men had higher odds of reporting a low level of perceived well-being when they experienced work/family conflicts. Conclusion: For both men and women, the perceptions of labor involvement are of more importance for the well-being than the actual time spent on paid and unpaid work. This implies that, when studying the relationship between labor involvement and well-being, perceived stress should be considered.

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Hagqvist, E. , Gådin, K. and Nordenmark, M. (2012) Division of labor, perceived labor-related stress and well-being among European couples. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2, 452-460. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2012.24064.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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