Psychological distress associated with division of domestic work

June 13, 2012

Women are more likely than men to be responsible for the majority of domestic work in a household, which can lead to higher psychological distress, and new research shows that this correlation is further increased by perceived socioeconomic and gender inequality in the relationship, according to a study published June 13 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The researchers, led by Lisa Harryson of Umea University in Sweden, used data from the Northern Swedish Cohort, which monitored individuals from a small Swedish town from 1981 until 2007. The results confirmed previous studies showing that women tend to have higher levels of domestic responsibility, which in turn is related to higher , and they also showed that the correlation depended on the perceived gender equality in the relationship. Specifically, if the relationship was perceived as equal, the associated with psychological distress was no longer seen. Additionally, the study found that men had higher psychological distress if their socioeconomic position was lower than their partner's.

Dr. Harryson concludes, "both these directions of inequality in domestic work, in combination with experiencing the couple relationship as gender-unequal, is associated with psychological distress."

Explore further: Gender of supervisor influences workers' mental and physical health

More information: Harryson L, Strandh M, Hammarstro¨m A (2012) Domestic Work and Psychological Distress2What Is the Importance of Relative Socioeconomic Position and Gender Inequality in the Couple Relationship? PLoS ONE 7(6): e38484. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038484

Related Stories

Sucking up to the boss may move you up and keep you healthy

June 9, 2011

Savvy career minded individuals have known for some time that ingratiating oneself to the boss and others – perhaps more commonly known as 'sucking up'– can help move them up the corporate ladder more quickly. However, ...

Sexism and gender inequality

October 28, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Individual beliefs don’t stay confined to the person who has them; they can affect how a society functions. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological ...

Recommended for you

Sleep makes relearning faster and longer-lasting

August 22, 2016

Getting some sleep in between study sessions may make it easier to recall what you studied and relearn what you've forgotten, even 6 months later, according to new findings from Psychological Science, a journal of the Association ...

Why we fall prey to misinformation

August 23, 2016

Even when we know better, we often rely on inaccurate or misleading information to make future decisions. But why are we so easily influenced by false statements such as "vaccinations cause autism" or "30 million illegal ...

Have we misunderstood post-traumatic stress disorder?

August 22, 2016

In understanding war-related post-traumatic stress disorder, a person's cultural and professional context is just as important as how they cope with witnessing wartime events, which could change the way mental health experts ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.