Women's health: dimensions and differentials

Soc Sci Med. 1996 May;42(9):1203-16. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(95)00432-7.


This paper is concerned with the social patterning of ill-health amongst women in Britain. It uses the various health measures available in the Health and Lifestyle Survey (self-assessed health, disease/disability, illness, psycho-social well-being and fitness) to explore whether there are particular aspects of health systematically associated with social advantage and disadvantage, as measured by current or last occupation, employment status, household composition and household income. Among women aged 18-59, after controlling for age, number of psychological symptoms experienced in the past month showed the greatest social variation. Number of physical illness symptoms in the last month showed the least. Lone mothers with dependent children were found to have particularly poor psycho-social health, although this was confined to those in full-time employment. The presence of a long-standing disease/disability proved useful as a control for the influence of health selection in to and out of both employment and motherhood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Employment / psychology
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Linear Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data
  • Occupations / classification
  • Occupations / statistics & numerical data
  • Physical Fitness
  • Self-Assessment
  • Single Parent / psychology
  • Single Parent / statistics & numerical data
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Women's Health*
  • Women, Working / psychology
  • Women, Working / statistics & numerical data