871 Housewives and mexican women at work: health and psychological factors

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Abstract

Introduction

An important group of working women has been laid aside of research: housewives and micro entrepreneurs. Perhaps multiple roles are detrimental to housewives’ both physical and mental health; it is supposed that these damaging effects are worst in the case of women taking care of housekeeping tasks and being workers at the same time. Therefore: how housewives, female microentrepreneurs, workers and professionals compare in the above mentioned fields?

Methods

353 women were surveyed in Cuernavaca, Mexico. 25% were housewives, 21% were housewives which sold goods or rendered services (baby sitting, laundry, ironing, for instance) to people outside the family circle, 13% were housewives and micro entrepreneurs at the same time, 5% said were blue-collar workers and housewives, 7% saw themselves as clerks and house-wives, 21% were professionals and housewives, and 5% saw themselves as professionals without being housewives at the same time.

Methods

The BREF-WHOQOL, the Siegrist Effort-Reward Questionnaire (slightly modified to adapt it to the sample), a stress, and self-efficacy, self-esteem, sense of life as well as a demographic questionnaire were administered.

Results

MANOVAS were calculated for the whole sample. Housewives rendered the lowest scores in mental health and self-efficacy, followed by micro-entrepreneurs, and manual workers. Regarding mental health, office employees, professionals and women without being housewives were better off as well as considering self-esteem, physical health, stress and recognition from their families. Stress correlated egatively with family satisfaction, recognition from their family, physical health, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and mental health. Effort was positively associated with stress, and negatively with the rest of variables. However, from a practical viewpoint scores were minor, mounting to less than a point.

Conclusion

Protective factors balance negative ones. Public policies should aim to pay attention to housewives since their important role within families impact in children and husbands as well as to society.

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