Depression over Jobs Affects Women and Men Differently

[Holy Hormones Honey! Women’s and men’s brains are indeed wired differently.]

Jobs affect depression risk differently in men and women

Published May 10, 2012

A job can increase the risk of depression in both men and women, but for different reasons, a new study from Canada suggests.

Women in the study who felt they were not appreciated at their job, or were not appropriately rewarded for their efforts, had an increased risk of depression, compared with women who felt they were rewarded appropriately, the study showed. No such link was found in men.

On the other hand, a high amount of job strain increased the risk of depression in men working full time, but not in women.

Conflicts between family and work influenced depression risk for both sexes, but in different ways. Men were at increased risk of depression if their family life got in the way of their work life, while women were at increased risk of depression if their work life interfered with their family life.

The findings agree with previous studies suggesting that achievements at work play a bigger role in men’s identity than in women’s, the researchers say.

Even though more women are in the work force, and more men take family responsibilities, “men and women, they may view their family role or their work differently,” said study researcher JianLi Wang, an associate professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

Wang and colleagues surveyed about 2,700 men and women living in Alberta between 2008 and 2011 who were not currently depressed. Participants were followed to see if they developed depression. They also answered questions about their jobs, such as their level of job strain and whether they felt adequately rewarded for their efforts.

After a year, 3.6 percent of participants were diagnosed with depression. The incidence of depression was higher in women with 4.5 percent developing the condition, compared with 2.9 percent of men.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.