Effect of domestic and occupational roles on morbidity and mortality

Soc Sci Med. 1991;32(7):805-11. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(91)90306-w.


This study examines the effect of labor force participation, occupational status and domestic roles on morbidity and mortality among women and men over a 15-year period. The main research questions address the long-term effects of multiple roles. Does the combination of domestic and work roles result in adverse health effects, or provide some health advantage? The study population was randomly selected from among members of a large HMO and were part of a household interview conducted in 1970-71. Medical records for the two years prior to the interview and for 15 years after the interview for the cohort members are linked with the survey data. The findings show that for women there is some longevity advantage in paid employment. Overall, the combination of employment and domestic roles apparently poses no health threat to women, and may provide some advantage. Multiple roles are unrelated to mortality and morbidity outcomes among men.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Women's Health*
  • Work*