Introduction: Previous research has investigated the relationship between an individuals' gender role attitudes (GRAs) and their psychological health. We hypothesized that holding traditional GRAs or having a husband who holds traditional GRAs may adversely affect a woman's health. Methods: Data were obtained from a nationally representative longitudinal survey. Women's negative attitudes towards women's economic participation and husbands' negative attitudes towards their wives' economic participation were measured. The associations between the two and depressive symptoms, poor subjective health, and unemployment status in married women was estimated using a generalised estimating equation. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Results: Women's negative attitudes towards women's economic participation was associated with depressive symptoms (OR [95% CI]: 1.19 [1.09–1.31]), poor subjective health (1.14 [1.04–1.25]) and unemployment status (1.10 [1.05–1.15]) in married women. In addition, there were significant associations between husbands' negative attitudes towards their wives working and depressive symptoms (1.41 [1.23–1.60]), poor subjective health (1.69 [1.48–1.92]), and unemployment (1.80 [1.69–1.92]) in their wives. The effect was strongest when both wives and their husbands have negative attitudes. In addition, the models considering cumulative years of negative attitudes showed that wives holding negative attitudes towards women's economic participation for 3 years or more was associated with depressive symptoms (1.70 [1.42–2.04]), poor subjective health (1.28 [1.04–1.57]), and unemployment status (1.39 [1.22–1.58]). Similarly, husbands' holding 3 years or more of negative attitudes towards their wives' economic participation was associated with depressive symptoms (1.32 [1.02–1.72])), poor subjective health (1.81 [1.40–2.35]), and unemployment status (9.02 [7.97–10.21]) in their wives. Conclusions: Our results show that one's own or one's husband's attitude towards women's economic participation affects not only the employment status of married women but also their mental and subjective health. Policymakers should implement policies that encourage positive attitudes towards women's economic activities.
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© 2022 The Authors
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health