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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health



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HOME > J Prev Med Public Health > Volume 41(5); 2008 > Article
English Abstract Multiple Roles and Health among Korean Women.
Su Jin Cho, Soong Nang Jang, Sung Il Cho
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2008;41(5):355-363
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1Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service, Korea.
2Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Korea.
3Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea.

Most studies about multiple roles and women's health suggested that combining with paid job, being married and having children was more likely to improve health status than in case of single or traditional roles. We investigated whether there was better health outcome in multiple roles among Korean women coinciding with previous studies of other nations. METHODS: Data were from the 2005 Korea National Health & Nutritional Examination Survey, a subsample of women aged 25-59 years (N=2,943). Health status was assessed for self-rated poor health, perceived stress and depression, respectively based on one questionnaire item. The age-standardized prevalence of all health outcomes were calculated by role categories and socioeconomic status. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess the association of self rated health, perceived stress, and depression with multiple roles adjusted for age, education, household income, number of children and age of children. RESULTS: Having multiple roles with working role was not associated with better health and psychological wellbeing. Compared to those with traditional roles, employed women more frequently experienced perceived stress, with marital and/or parental roles. Non-working single mothers suffered depression more often than women with traditional roles or other role occupancy. Socioeconomic status indicators were potent independent correlates of self-rated health and perceived stress. CONCLUSIONS: Employment of women with other roles did not confer additional health benefit to traditional family responsibility. Juggling of work and family responsibility appeared more stressful than traditional unemployed parental and marital role in Korean women.

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health