According to a new research published in the journal Sociology, women who raise 2 children while working full time may have up to 40% higher levels of chronic stress.
Researchers at the University of Manchester and the University of Essex analysed data on 6025 individuals in Understanding Society’s UK Household Longitudinal Survey. Information was collected on working life, and measures of stress such as hormonal levels and blood pressure were assessed.
The findings showed that the overall levels of 11 biomarkers associated with chronic stress, including BP and stress-related hormones, were 40% higher in women who were working full time and raising 2 children at the same time. Those working full time and raising 1 child had 18% higher levels. Levels of chronic stress were significantly lower in women with 2 children who worked for fewer hours through part-time work, job sharing and flexible-working arrangements vs those who did not have reduced working hours. Flexible working or remote working with no reduction in working hours did not lower stress levels.
The authors said: "Work-family conflict is associated with increased psychological strain, with higher levels of stress and lower levels of well-being. Parents of young children are at particular risk of work-family conflict."