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A Multi-Level Analysis of Psychological Well-Being Related to Work and Family in 33 Countries

Family and Health: Evolving Needs, Responsibilities, and Experiences

ISBN: 978-1-78441-126-8, eISBN: 978-1-78441-125-1

ISSN: 1530-3535

Publication date: 20 October 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores the interplay between macro- and micro-level predictors of psychological well-being related to work and family. We use nations as the context and investigate how country-level gender equalities and gender norms affect individual well-being and its relationship to micro-level predictors.

Design/methodology/approach

Social role explanations suggest that women’s vulnerability in mental health is due to socially assigned gender roles and gendered socialization. We utilize multi-level modeling and data from the International Social Survey Programme 2002, to examine how the societal level gender climate impacts the effects of gender roles on psychological well-being for married and employed men and women in 33 countries.

Findings

Gender differences in mental health remain, but larger differences are observed in less egalitarian countries regarding gender. Also, caring roles are negatively associated with women’s psychological well-being to a greater degree than men’s, and the negative impacts are stronger in more egalitarian countries. Furthermore, men show lower well-being regarding work responsibility, but the gender effects are weaker in more egalitarian countries.

Social implications

Our psychological well-being is affected not only by the actual role behaviors but also by how we each perceive these roles.

Originality/value

This study provides a broader picture of the relationship between gender and psychological well-being related to work and family. It also illustrates complex relationships between macro-level gender climate and individual-level psychological well-being and how structural differences may impact individual outcomes.

Keywords

Citation

Hori, M. and Kamo, Y. (2014), "A Multi-Level Analysis of Psychological Well-Being Related to Work and Family in 33 Countries", Family and Health: Evolving Needs, Responsibilities, and Experiences (Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research, Vol. 8B), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1530-35352014000008B009

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited