PloS one 2017 09 0812(9) e0184235 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0184235
Due to gendered inequalities in the division of domestic work, women with paid employment and family caregiving responsibilities can feel extremely tired with general distress and depression. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the association between the number of family members and stress level by gender among Korean adults using a nationally representative dataset.
We used a sample of 6,293 subjects aged 19 or older (3,629 female and 2,264 male) from the fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. A multivariable logistic regression analysis with sociodemographic and health-related characteristics was conducted. Because there were gender differences, a stratified analysis was performed for each gender.
Age, number of family members, education level, occupational status, depression, self-rated health status, and chronic diseases were found to have a significant association with stress level in the study subjects (p<0.05). The probability of perceiving stress increased among females from family with two members (OR 1.521), three family members (OR 1.893), or four or more family members without spouse (OR 2.035) compared to those who live alone. CONCLUSION
We found that unmarried women are more likely to be stressed as the number of family members increases. Gender expectations giving women the main responsibility for domestic and care work may become a source of stress. Reconciliation of family and work remains women’s responsibility in Korea. As family problems are recently becoming a big issue, our study shows the importance of considering gender difference in studies on stress according to family roles and functions.