STRESS, SOCIAL SUPPORT, AND HEALTH IN MARRIED PROFESSIONAL WOMEN WITH SMALL CHILDREN

Authors


  • This article is based on Alan Reifman's doctoral dissertation submitted to the university of Michigan. The overall research project was supported by Grant No. MH40255–01 from the National Institute of Mental Health and Grant No. BNS-8417745 from the National Science Foundation, awarded to Camille B. Wortman, principal investigator. The research reported here was also facilitated by a predoctoral fellowship from the Rackham Graduate School of the University of Michigan to Alan Reifman, who wishes to express appreciation to his dissertation committee: Camille B. Wortman (Chair), Patricia Gurin, Carol Loveland Cherry, and Christopher Peterson. Thanks are also extended to everyone associated with the Role-Conflict Study for use of their data and their encouragement, and to Niall Bolger and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article. Portions of this research were presented at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Los Angeles, April 1990.

Address correspondence to: Alan Reifman, Research Institute on Alcoholism, 1021 Main Street. Buffalo, NY 14203.

Abstract

Two hundred married professional women with small children were surveyed to investigate what types of occupational and role-conflict stresses are associated with physical and depressive symptoms, and whether social support could protect individuals from the negative health effects of stress. Six stress indices predicted physical and depressive symptoms, both Concurrently and 1 year later. These stresses reflected perceptions of lack of authority and influence on the job, sex discrimination, a heavy work load, work imposing on relaxation, family imposing on relaxation, and overall suffering from role conflict. Social support yielded no stress-buffering effects.

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