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


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Abstract

IntroductionAn 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?Methods353 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.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.ResultsMANOVAS 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.ConclusionProtective 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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