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Double jeopardy: the costs of caring at work and at home.

Marshall NL; Barnett RC; Baruch GK; Pleck JH
Center for Research on Women, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts 1988 Jan; :1-19
An examination was undertaken of whether women responsible for caring both at home and at work face a double jeopardy. This research was part of a larger study of occupational stress and health among 404 women employed as social workers or licensed practical nurses. The sample was randomly drawn from women aged 25 to 55 years, living in eastern Massachusetts, and listed in the registries of these two occupations. Of the 404 women, 326 responded reporting that their jobs always or almost always involved responsibility for clients or patients. Each woman was interviewed for an average of 2 hours with questions, both close ended and open ended, about her job, her family and friends, and her mental and physical health. The nurses and social workers interviewed cared for children, parents, other relatives and friends. When this caring taxed their personal and material resources, or when they experienced contagion stress from exposure to other's problems, they suffered greater psychological distress, reduced well being and poorer health. To reduce the cost of caring, the demands associated with caregiving can be reduced and the costs of caregiving at work can be reduced through reduced caseloads and provision of adequate material resources and supportive supervision. It is also important that the man in the home take his turn at remaining in the home to care for an ailing family member and that other tasks be more equally shared.
NIOSH-Grant; Psychological-disorders; Psychological-factors; Mental-stress; Job-stress; Nursing; Health-care-personnel; Worker-health
None Wllesley College Center for Research on Women Wellesley, Mass 02181
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Grant Report
Funding Amount
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Fiscal Year
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NTIS Price
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NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Psychologic Disorders; Psychological-disorders
Source Name
Center for Research on Women, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts
Performing Organization
Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: September 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division