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The Effects of Employment and Marital Relations on Depression among Mexican American Women

Rogelio Saenz, Willis J. Goudy and Frederick O. Lorenz
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 51, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 239-251
DOI: 10.2307/352384
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352384
Page Count: 13
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The Effects of Employment and Marital Relations on Depression among Mexican American Women
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Abstract

A path analysis model is proposed to explain the effects of employment and marital relations on the mental health of Mexican American women. Three hypotheses are examined. First, employed women receive more help from their husbands with housework. Second, women receiving more help from their husbands experience higher levels of marital satisfaction, but employed women experience lower levels of marital satisfaction. Third, employed women, those receiving more help from their husbands with housework, and those reporting higher levels of marital satisfaction experience lower levels of depression. Data from the 1979 National Chicano Survey were used to examine these hypotheses. The results show general support for the model, with marital satisfaction and husband's help with housework both decreasing women's depression levels. But women's employment status is not related to depression. When employed women are examined separately, however, occupational prestige is significantly related to depression, with women holding more prestigious jobs reporting lower levels of depression than those employed in less prestigious occupations. Applications of the results are discussed.

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