Stress among working women : an examination of family structure, occupational status, and workplace relationships Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zg64tq40j

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  • Since the industrial revolution, work and family have been viewed as separate spheres, with women relegated to the family sphere. With the advent of women into the paid labor force, few studies have considered the potentially complex context of women's work and family experiences. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of family structure, occupational status, and workplace relationships on women workers' perceptions of stress. The sample for this study included 379 women dental assistants and hygienists who responded to mailed questionnaires sent to the dental offices where they worked. The dependent variables used in this analysis were mental stress, physical stress, and four social stress items. Analysis of variance was performed for the family structure groups on physical, mental, and social stress items. Single parents and parents in general were especially stressed in terms of financial stress and marital stress. The second series of analyses included t-tests on stress by occupation. Dental assistants had more financial stress than hygienists. Hygienists had more mental stress than assistants. Workplace relationships were assessed in the full regression models. Frequency of talking with fellow workers was strongly and positively associated with financial problems. The full regression models supported the findings in earlier analyses that tensions from children and financial problems were associated with the presence of children in the home. The findings in this study suggest that for women workers, work and family do not occupy separate spheres. Women workers think about family matters at the workplace and discuss them with their other women workers. Further research needs to focus on women workers, especially those in traditionally female occupations, and the work and family connections for these workers.
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