English title: Work–family conflict, health services and medication use among dual-income couples in Europe

Author(s): Wendy Christiaens - Piet Bracke -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2014

Abstract

Combination pressure or work–life imbalance is linked to adverse health. However, it remains unclear how work–family conflict is related to healthcare utilisation. Does work–family conflict function as a barrier or as a facilitator in relation to the use of health services and prescription medication? Lack of time may prevent people from visiting a doctor when they feel unwell. However, combination pressure can also be expected to intensify the use of health services, as the need for a quick fix is prioritised. Further, do women and men differ in their susceptibility to medicalisation and time pressure resulting from work–life imbalance? This article investigates the use of health services and prescription medication of dual-income couples with children, based on data from 23 countries in the European Social Survey round 2 (Nwomen = 3755; Nmen = 3142). It was found that medical services and prescription medications are used more frequently in dual-income couples experiencing work-to-family spillover, but for women only this is irrespective of their self-reported health. Family-to-work spillover does not result in increased health service or medication use for either men or women. While women opt for a medical response to work–life imbalance, men’s reluctance to seek formal health support is confirmed.

Volume: 36

Issue: 3

From page no: 319

To page no: 337

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12049

Journal: Sociology of Health and Illnes