Purpose: This study examined gender differences in the association between work-family conflict and self-rated health and evaluated the effect of educational attainment.
Method: We used baseline data from ELSA-Brasil, a cohort study of civil servants from six Brazilian state capitals. Our samples included 12,017 active workers aged 34-72 years. Work-family conflict was measured by four indicators measuring effects of work on family, effects of family in work and lack of time for leisure and personal care.
Results: Women experienced more frequent work-family conflict, but in both genders, increased work-family conflict directly correlated with poorer self-rated health. Women's educational level interacted with three work-family conflict indicators. For time-based effects of work on family, highly educated women had higher odds of suboptimal self-rated health (OR = 1.54; 95 % CI = 1.19-1.99) than less educated women (OR = 1.14; 95 % CI = 0.92-1.42). For strain-based effects of work on family, women with higher and lower education levels had OR = 1.91 (95 % CI 1.48-2.47) and OR = 1.40 (95 % CI 1.12-1.75), respectively. For lack of time for leisure and personal care, women with higher and lower education levels had OR = 2.60 (95 % CI = 1.95-3.47) and OR = 1.11 (95 % CI = 0.90-1.38), respectively.
Conclusion: Women's education level affects the relationship between work-family conflict and self-rated health. The results may contribute to prevention activities.
Keywords: ELSA-Brasil cohort study; Educational level; Gender; Self-rated health; Work and family conflict.