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J Prev Med Public Health > Volume 42(5); 2009 > Article
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2009;42(5): 323-330. doi: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.2009.42.5.323
Employment and Married Women's Health in Korea; Beneficial or Harmful?.
Il Ho Kim, Heeran Chun
1Center for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Canada.
2Institute of Health and Enviroment, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. heeranchun@gmail.com
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate whether working married women in different occupational classes affected diverse health outcomes. METHODS: We used data for married women aged 25-59 (N=2,273) from the 2005 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. Outcome measures included physical/mental and subjective/objective indicators (self-rated poor health, chronic diseases, depression, and suicidal ideation from reported results; metabolic syndrome and dyslipidemia from health examination results). Age-standardized prevalence and logistic regression were employed to assess health status according to three types of working groups (housewives, married women in manual jobs, married women in non-manual jobs). Sociodemographic factors (age, numbers of children under 7, education, household income) and health behaviors (health examination, sleep, rest, exercise, smoking, drinking) and a psychological factor (stress) were considered as covariates. RESULTS: Non-manual married female workers in Korea showed better health status in all five health outcomes than housewives. The positive health effect for the non-manual group persisted in absolute (age-adjusted prevalence) and relative (odds ratio) measures, but multivariate analyses showed an insignificant association of the non-manual group with dyslipidemia. Manual female workers showed significantly higher age-adjusted prevalence of almost all health outcomes than housewives except chronic disease, but the associations disappeared after further adjustment for covariates regarding sleep, rest, and stress. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that examining the health impact of work on married women requires the consideration of occupational class.
Key words: Occupational class; Role conflict; Role enhancement; Women's health; Work
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