Gendered working environments as a determinant of mental health inequalities: a systematic review of 27 studies

Milner, Allison, Scovelle, Anna Joy, King, Tania, Marck, Claudia, McAllister, Ashley, Kavanagh, Anne, Shields, Marissa, Török, Eszter, Maheen, Humaira and O'Neil, Adrienne 2021, Gendered working environments as a determinant of mental health inequalities: a systematic review of 27 studies, Occupational and environmental medicine, vol. 78, no. 3, pp. 147-152, doi: 10.1136/oemed-2019-106281.

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Title Gendered working environments as a determinant of mental health inequalities: a systematic review of 27 studies
Author(s) Milner, AllisonORCID iD for Milner, Allison orcid.org/0000-0003-4657-0503
Scovelle, Anna Joy
King, Tania
Marck, Claudia
McAllister, Ashley
Kavanagh, Anne
Shields, Marissa
Török, Eszter
Maheen, Humaira
O'Neil, Adrienne
Journal name Occupational and environmental medicine
Volume number 78
Issue number 3
Start page 147
End page 152
Total pages 6
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2021-03
ISSN 1351-0711
1470-7926
Keyword(s) gender
mental health
public health
Summary Background ‘Gendered working environments’ describes the ways in which (1) differential selection into work, (2) variations in employment arrangements and working hours, (3) differences in psychosocial exposures and (4) differential selection out of work may produce varied mental health outcomes for men and women. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review to understand gender differences in mental health outcomes in relation to the components of gendered working environments. Methods The review followed a Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) search approach and focused on studies published in 2008–2018. The protocol for the review was prospectively registered with PROSPERO (CRD42019124066). Findings Across the 27 cohort studies included in the review, we found that (1) there was inconclusive evidence on the effect of occupational gender composition on the mental health of men and women, (2) women’s mental health was more likely to be affected by long working hours than men’s; however, precarious employment was more likely to be negatively associated with men’s mental health, (3) exposure to traditional constructs of psychosocial job stressors negatively affected the mental health of both women and men, and (4) unemployment and retirement are associated with poorer mental health in both genders. Interpretation The findings from this review indicate that gendered working environments may affect the mental health of both men and women, but the association is dependent on the specific exposure examined. There is still much to be understood about gendered working environments, and future research into work and health should be considered with a gender lens.
Language eng
DOI 10.1136/oemed-2019-106281
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1103 Clinical Sciences
1117 Public Health and Health Services
1599 Other Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30143638

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Medicine
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