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: Active older adults less likely to experience psychological distress

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

Active older adults less likely to experience psychological distress

April 5, 2012
In a study examining the relationship between physical activity and physical function, researchers from Australia discovered that older adults who experienced any level of psychological distress were more than four times ...

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 ...

Young drivers who take risks on the road have a greater risk of mental health problems

May 16, 2011
Young adults who take risks when driving are more likely to experience psychological distress, including mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, reveals research published ahead of print in Injury Prevention.

Recommended for you

To pick a great gift, it's better to give AND receive

July 28, 2017
If it's the thought that makes a gift count, here's a thought that can make your gift count extra: Get a little something for yourself.

Researchers crack the smile, describing three types by muscle movement

July 27, 2017
The smile may be the most common and flexible expression, used to reveal some emotions, cover others and manage social interactions that have kept communities secure and organized for millennia.

Ketamine for depression encouraging, but questions remain around long-term use

July 27, 2017
A world-first systematic review into the safety of ketamine as a treatment for depression, published in the prestigious Lancet Psychiatry, shows the risks of long-term ketamine treatment remain unclear.

Even babies can tell who's the boss, UW research says

July 27, 2017
The charismatic colleague, the natural leader, the life of the party - all are personal qualities that adults recognize instinctively. These socially dominant types, according to repeated studies, also tend to accomplish ...

DREAMers at greater risk for mental health distress

July 27, 2017
Immigrants who came to the United States illegally as small children and who meet the requirements of the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, more commonly known as DREAMers, are at risk for mental health ...

Negativity, be gone—new online tool can retrain your brain

July 27, 2017
Anxiety and depression can have devastating effects on people's lives. In some cases, the mental disorders lead to isolation, poverty and poor physical health, things that often cascade to future generations.

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.