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The Nature of Work and the Stress of Higher Status

Scott Schieman, Yuko Kurashina Whitestone and Karen Van Gundy
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 47, No. 3 (Sep., 2006), pp. 242-257
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30040316
Page Count: 16
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The Nature of Work and the Stress of Higher Status
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Abstract

Are occupational and work conditions associated with work-to-home conflict? If so, do those associations vary by gender? Among a sample of adults in Toronto, Canada, we found that men and women in higher-status occupations reported higher levels of work-to-home conflict than workers in lower-status jobs. In addition, we observed higher levels of work-to-home conflict among workers who are self-employed and among those with more job authority, demands, involvement, and longer hours. The only significant gender-contingent effect was found for nonroutine work, which is associated positively with work-to-home conflict among men but not women. Higher levels of job demands, involvement, and hours among individuals in higher-status occupations significantly contribute to occupation-based differences in work-to-home conflict. Moreover, despite some overlap, these work conditions have largely independent associations with work-to-home conflict. Results generally support the "stress of higher status" hypothesis among both women and men. Although higher-status positions yield many rewards, such positions are not impervious to inter-role stress, and this stress may offset those rewards.

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