A recent study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, shows gender differences in the associations between atypical temporal work schedules and depressive symptoms. Study found women who work extra-long hours and most/all weekends experience poorer mental health and men working weekends also experience poorer mental health when their psychosocial conditions are poor.
Researchers analysed data from the second wave (wave 2, 2010-2012) of the UK Household Longitudinal Study involving 11,215 men and 12,188 women who were employed or self-employed and not in full-time education. Depressive symptoms were measured using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire, and temporal work patterns were evaluated based on the sum of the number of hours participants on average worked per week, worked as overtime in a normal week and worked in any second jobs.
Compared with women working standard hours (35-40 hours/week), those working extra-long hours (≥55 hours/week) experienced more depressive symptoms (ß, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.12-1.39) but not men (ß, 0.24; 95% CI, −0.10 to 0.58). Both men (ß, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.08-0.61) and women (ß, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.20-0.79) working most or all weekends had more depressive symptoms compared with those not working during weekends. Working some weekends was associated with more depressive symptoms in men (ß, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.11-0.55) but not in women (ß, 0.17; 95% CI, −0.09 to 0.42).
Based on result of this study, researchers suggested, “Our findings may motivate employers and policymakers to consider interventions to reduce women’s burdens without restricting their full participation in the workforce and to improve psychosocial work conditions.”