Labor market experience, work organization, gender inequalities and health status: Results from a prospective analysis of US employed women

Patricia O'Campo, William W. Eaton, Carles Muntaner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Women's labor force participation has increased dramatically over the past several decades. Although previous research has documented that a wide array of labor market characteristics affect health, more work is needed to understand how women are impacted by gender-specific employment patterns and exposures. We examine a cohort of 659 employed women from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) study in the USA. Baseline and follow-up data collected 13 years apart are used to identify associations between demographic, labor market, work organization, and occupational gender inequality with four health outcomes: generalized distress, depressive syndrome, anxiety and fair or poor health. We also use gender-specific data on the workplace to create indicators of occupational gender inequality. We found wide gender inequalities in terms of pay and power in this sample of employed women. Financial strain was associated with all of our mental health outcomes with those reporting financial strain having increased odds of distress, depressive syndrome and anxiety for the 13 years prior to the interview. Workplace factors that were found to be associated with the four outcomes included experiencing a promotion or demotion in the 13 years prior to the interview; working at a large firm; and being a professional. Occupations where women compared to men had lower levels of job strain - domestic workers in private households, machine operator and transportation - showed increased risk for anxiety or fair/poor health. Our findings suggest that measuring the complexities of employment including promotion or demotion history, firm characteristics and even occupational gender inequality can yield important information about associations with health among women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-594
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

work organization
health status
labor market
Health Status
gender
financial strain
health
experience
Anxiety
Depressive Disorder
anxiety
workplace
Workplace
employment promotion
Health
Health Fairs
Interviews
private household
womens health
firm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Labor market experience, work organization, gender inequalities and health status : Results from a prospective analysis of US employed women. / O'Campo, Patricia; Eaton, William W.; Muntaner, Carles.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 58, No. 3, 01.02.2004, p. 585-594.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{828b28311adc42cf93e0cd43b40ee3d4,
title = "Labor market experience, work organization, gender inequalities and health status: Results from a prospective analysis of US employed women",
abstract = "Women's labor force participation has increased dramatically over the past several decades. Although previous research has documented that a wide array of labor market characteristics affect health, more work is needed to understand how women are impacted by gender-specific employment patterns and exposures. We examine a cohort of 659 employed women from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) study in the USA. Baseline and follow-up data collected 13 years apart are used to identify associations between demographic, labor market, work organization, and occupational gender inequality with four health outcomes: generalized distress, depressive syndrome, anxiety and fair or poor health. We also use gender-specific data on the workplace to create indicators of occupational gender inequality. We found wide gender inequalities in terms of pay and power in this sample of employed women. Financial strain was associated with all of our mental health outcomes with those reporting financial strain having increased odds of distress, depressive syndrome and anxiety for the 13 years prior to the interview. Workplace factors that were found to be associated with the four outcomes included experiencing a promotion or demotion in the 13 years prior to the interview; working at a large firm; and being a professional. Occupations where women compared to men had lower levels of job strain - domestic workers in private households, machine operator and transportation - showed increased risk for anxiety or fair/poor health. Our findings suggest that measuring the complexities of employment including promotion or demotion history, firm characteristics and even occupational gender inequality can yield important information about associations with health among women.",
keywords = "Gender inequality, General health, Mental health, USA, Women's health, Work organization",
author = "Patricia O'Campo and Eaton, {William W.} and Carles Muntaner",
year = "2004",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/S0277-9536(03)00230-2",
language = "English",
volume = "58",
pages = "585--594",
journal = "Social Science and Medicine",
issn = "0277-9536",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Labor market experience, work organization, gender inequalities and health status

T2 - Results from a prospective analysis of US employed women

AU - O'Campo, Patricia

AU - Eaton, William W.

AU - Muntaner, Carles

PY - 2004/2/1

Y1 - 2004/2/1

N2 - Women's labor force participation has increased dramatically over the past several decades. Although previous research has documented that a wide array of labor market characteristics affect health, more work is needed to understand how women are impacted by gender-specific employment patterns and exposures. We examine a cohort of 659 employed women from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) study in the USA. Baseline and follow-up data collected 13 years apart are used to identify associations between demographic, labor market, work organization, and occupational gender inequality with four health outcomes: generalized distress, depressive syndrome, anxiety and fair or poor health. We also use gender-specific data on the workplace to create indicators of occupational gender inequality. We found wide gender inequalities in terms of pay and power in this sample of employed women. Financial strain was associated with all of our mental health outcomes with those reporting financial strain having increased odds of distress, depressive syndrome and anxiety for the 13 years prior to the interview. Workplace factors that were found to be associated with the four outcomes included experiencing a promotion or demotion in the 13 years prior to the interview; working at a large firm; and being a professional. Occupations where women compared to men had lower levels of job strain - domestic workers in private households, machine operator and transportation - showed increased risk for anxiety or fair/poor health. Our findings suggest that measuring the complexities of employment including promotion or demotion history, firm characteristics and even occupational gender inequality can yield important information about associations with health among women.

AB - Women's labor force participation has increased dramatically over the past several decades. Although previous research has documented that a wide array of labor market characteristics affect health, more work is needed to understand how women are impacted by gender-specific employment patterns and exposures. We examine a cohort of 659 employed women from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) study in the USA. Baseline and follow-up data collected 13 years apart are used to identify associations between demographic, labor market, work organization, and occupational gender inequality with four health outcomes: generalized distress, depressive syndrome, anxiety and fair or poor health. We also use gender-specific data on the workplace to create indicators of occupational gender inequality. We found wide gender inequalities in terms of pay and power in this sample of employed women. Financial strain was associated with all of our mental health outcomes with those reporting financial strain having increased odds of distress, depressive syndrome and anxiety for the 13 years prior to the interview. Workplace factors that were found to be associated with the four outcomes included experiencing a promotion or demotion in the 13 years prior to the interview; working at a large firm; and being a professional. Occupations where women compared to men had lower levels of job strain - domestic workers in private households, machine operator and transportation - showed increased risk for anxiety or fair/poor health. Our findings suggest that measuring the complexities of employment including promotion or demotion history, firm characteristics and even occupational gender inequality can yield important information about associations with health among women.

KW - Gender inequality

KW - General health

KW - Mental health

KW - USA

KW - Women's health

KW - Work organization

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0344926521&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0344926521&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/S0277-9536(03)00230-2

DO - 10.1016/S0277-9536(03)00230-2

M3 - Article

C2 - 14652054

AN - SCOPUS:0344926521

VL - 58

SP - 585

EP - 594

JO - Social Science and Medicine

JF - Social Science and Medicine

SN - 0277-9536

IS - 3

ER -