Deakin University

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Paid work, household work, or leisure? Time allocation pathways among women following a cancer diagnosis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-16, 04:44 authored by N Gao, M Ryan, N Krucien, Suzanne RobinsonSuzanne Robinson, R Norman
Background: There is extensive evidence on the relationship between receiving a cancer diagnosis and labour market outcomes. However, there is limited evidence on the relationship between a cancer diagnosis and non-labour market outcomes such as household work, passive leisure and physical leisure. Furthermore, most current research focuses on time allocation at a given time point, ignoring both the life course perspective and long term effects. Methods: Using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH), we observe time allocation for 91 women diagnosed with breast cancer and 486 women diagnosed with skin cancer, and 2711 women living without cancer. Our analysis is unique in combining sequence analysis and multivariate multinomial logit modelling. Using sequence analysis, we first analyse life-courses post a cancer diagnosis for paid work, household work, passive leisure and physical leisure from 2004 to 2016. Using multivariate multinomial logit modelling, we test whether a cancer diagnosis influences such life-courses. We consider the robustness of results to cancer severity and change in time allocation before and after a cancer diagnosis. Results: We identify three clusters for paid work and two clusters for household work, passive leisure and physical leisure. Neither a breast cancer nor skin cancer diagnosis has a significant effect on the pathways of time allocation. Such results are robust to severity of diagnosis with ‘cured’ and ‘non-cured’ breast cancer, and skin cancer treated with and without ‘chemotherapy or radiotherapy’. Women post a breast cancer diagnosis are less likely to maintain their pre-cancer's time use on paid work, household work and passive leisure; however, such effects are not significant. Conclusion: Being diagnosed with breast cancer or skin cancer has no significant long-term effect on the pathways of time allocation. Future work should explore the relationship between time allocation and wellbeing and the preference for time allocation.



Social Science and Medicine



Article number

ARTN 112776









Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal