Saturday, November 22, 2014
A new study finds that having job authority increases symptoms of depression among women, but decreases them among men
"Women with job authority - the ability to hire, fire, and influence pay - have significantly more symptoms of depression than women without this power," said Tetyana Pudrovska, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and the lead author of the study. "In contrast, men with job authority have fewer symptoms of depression than men without such power." Titled, "Gender, Job Authority, and Depression," the study considers more than 1,300 middle-aged men and 1,500 middle-aged women, who graduated from high schools in Wisconsin. According to Pudrovska, who co-authored the study with Amelia Karraker, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University, women without job authority exhibit slightly more symptoms of depression on average than men without job authority. But among people with the ability to hire, fire, and influence pay, women typically exhibit many more symptoms of depression than men. "What's striking is that women with job authority in our study are advantaged in terms of most characteristics that are strong predictors of positive mental health," said Pudrovska. "These women have more education, higher incomes, more prestigious occupations, and higher levels of job satisfaction and autonomy than women without job authority. Yet, they have worse mental health than lower-status women."