Employment and health among married women with children

Susan Welch, Alan Booth

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48 Scopus citations


A sample of nearly 500 urban married women with children was used to evaluate the possible effect of outside-the-home employment on the mental and physical health of married mothers. Six measures of health were used, some drawn from interviews with the women, others from a medical examination. After controlling for ethnicity, education, and age of the women, the husband's occupation, number of children in the family, and length of time the woman has been married, it was found that wives who had been employed for more than a year were healthier than wives not employed outside the home and wives who had worked less than one year. Housewives who had never worked outside the home were healthier, on the whole, than wives who had been employed at some time in the past. Poor marital relationships and having no preschool age children seemed to increase the health advantage of long-term employed wives over those in the housewife categories. The occupational status of wife and husband did not seem to change these health differences very much.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-397
Number of pages13
JournalSex Roles
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 1977

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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