Gender, job and family conditions, and psychological symptoms

Diane L. Hughes, Ellen Galinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the hypothesis that gender differences in psychological distress are mediated by job and family role conditions. Previous research has failed to directly test such mediational hypotheses but rather has inferred effects of role conditions from simple role-occupancy variables. The sample consisted of full-time employed married respondents including 161 women with full-time employed spouses, 142 men with nonemployed spouses, and 126 men with full-time employed spouses. Although the sample reported low psychological symptomatology overall, the women in dual-earner families reported more psychological symptomatology than did either group of men. Hierarchical regression equations indicated that work and family conditions fully attenuated this gender differential. Women in dual-earner families also reported less job enrichment, less time at work, and more household labor inequity than did either group of men. They also reported more childcare difficulty than did men with nonemployed spouses. Work-family interference predicted psychological symptomatology and partially accounted for its relationship with some job and family conditions. We discuss processes through which gender affects psychological distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-270
Number of pages20
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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