Gender difference in working from home and psychological distress-A national survey of U.S. employees during the COVID-19 pandemic

Timothy A. Matthews, Liwei Chen, Negar Omidakhsh, Donglan Zhang, Xuesong Han, Zhuo Chen, Lu Shi, Yan Li, Ming Wen, Hongmei Li, Dejun Su, Jian Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated broad and extensive changes in the way people live and work. While the general subject of working from home has recently drawn increased attention, few studies have assessed gender differences in vulnerability to the potential mental health effects of working from home. Using data from 1,585 workers who participated in the Health, Ethnicity, and Pandemic (HEAP) study, a national survey conducted in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic in October 2020, associations of working from home with psychological distress were examined with weighted logistic regression among 1,585 workers and stratified by gender. It was found that workers who worked from home had higher odds of psychological distress (aOR and 95% CI = 2.62 [1.46, 4.70]) compared to workers who did not work from home, adjusting for demographic factors, socioeconomic status, and health behaviors. In gender-stratified analyses, this positive association between working from home and psychological distress was significant in women (aOR and 95% CI = 3.68 [1.68, 8.09]) but not in men. These results have implications for female workers’ mental health in the transition towards working from home in the COVID-19 pandemic era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-344
Number of pages11
JournalIndustrial Health
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Gender
  • Mental health
  • Workers
  • Working from home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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