Psychosocial workload work-family interference and health. Determinants of sick leave in university employees.
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RU Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 01 december 2005
Promotor : Roscam Abbing, E.W. Co-promotores : Gulden, J.W.J. van der, Furer, J.W.
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SubjectEBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
Nowadays, more women keep their job after they have given birth to children. But they still remain the primary caretaker. Combining work and care is often described as a 'double burden'. This 'double burden' may explain why women take more sick leave and more of them receive disability pension compared to men. However, the contribution of men to household chores and child care is increasing. Therefore, combining work and family may also be difficult for men. This thesis focuses on determinants in work and family life that contribute to the explanation of ill health and sick leave. For this, we obtained data from 1843 university employees. Another term for 'double burden' is work-family interference (WFI). This is a multidimensional concept with two directions: work©family interference (W©FI) and family©work interference (F©WI). Each direction has three forms: time-, strain- and behaviour-based interference. W©FI is strongly associated with ill health and sick leave, but F©WI hardly played any role at all. Perceived health complaints, a life event in private domain, childcare and the presence of chronic disease were other important determinants of sick leave in both men and women. There were also differences between the men and women. These differences reflected the 'traditional' role patterns: in the women, family-related characteristics played a somewhat larger role in the explanation of WFI, ill health and sick leave, whereas in the men, some work-related characteristics appeared to be more important. Another theme in this thesis regarded employees with chronic diseases. Ageing of the (Dutch) work force and increasingly stringent restrictions regarding early retirement and disability benefits are leading to larger numbers of workers with ill health. Until now, only a few studies explored how workers with ill health perceive their work. Employees with chronic diseases (24.8% of our respondents) were experiencing more difficulties at work and they reported more ill health and sick leave than the non-chronically ill workers.
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