Working mothers 18% more stressed than others: study
Working mothers are up to 18 per cent more stressed in comparison to other people, according to a recent study.
The figure rises to 40 per cent for mothers with two children, according to the major study which analysed 11 key indicators of chronic stress levels, , The Guardian reported.
Professor Tarani Chandola of Manchester University, Professor Michaela Benzeval of Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex University, Dr Cara Booker and Professor Meena Kumari examined biological data taken by nurses from 6,025 participants in the UK Household Longitudinal Survey, the largest survey of its kind in the world.
The researchers adjusted the raw statistics to exclude other factors that could influence their findings, such as the women’s ages, ethnicity, education, occupation and income, allowing them to focus solely on working hours and family conditions.
According to their research, neither working from home nor flexible timings have an impact on women’s chronic stress levels. However, reducing the number of working hours did have a positive impact.
“Work-family conflict is associated with increased psychological strain, with higher levels of stress and lower levels of wellbeing,” Chandola said.
“Parents of young children are at particular risk of work-family conflict. Working conditions that are not flexible to the family demands, such as long working hours, could adversely impact on a person’s stress reactions.”
“Repeated stressful events arising from combinations of social and environmental stressors and major traumatic life events result in chronic stress, which in turn affects health,” Kumari said.
The researchers discovered that the biomarkers indicating chronic stress, including hormone levels and blood pressure, were 40% higher for women working full time while bringing up two children than among women working full time with no children. Women who were working full time and bringing up one child had 18% higher levels of stress than women with no children.
“Flexible work practices are meant to enable employees to achieve a more satisfactory work-life balance, which should reduce work-family conflict,” Benzeval said.
“Reduced-hours flexible work arrangements appeared to moderate some of the association of family and work stressors. But there was little evidence that flexplace or flextime working arrangements were associated with lower chronic stress responses.”
This story originally appeared in The Guardian
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