Work-family spillover and depression: Are there racial differences among employed women?

Ariane L. Rung, Evrim Oral, Edward S. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The intersection of work and family life can be a source of burden (negative) and a source of growth (positive). Negative work-to-family and family-to-work spillover have been linked to poor mental health, while positive work-to-family and family-to-work spillover have been linked to improved health outcomes. Less is known about these relationships in racial subgroups. Louisiana, USA, has a large proportion of African Americans, providing a unique population in which to study these relationships. The objectives of this study were to examine, among a sample of women in southern Louisiana in 2017, levels of work-family spillover by race and how the relationship between work-family spillover and depressive symptoms varies by race. 284 employed women (61% White, 39% Black) met eligibility criteria and participated in a survey to collect information on work-family spillover (positive and negative) and depressive symptoms. White women experienced higher levels of both kinds of negative spillover (work-to-family and family-to-work) as well as higher levels of positive work-to-family spillover compared to Black women. There were no differences between White and Black women with respect to positive family-to-work spillover. Higher levels of negative work-to-family spillover were related to greater depressive symptoms among both Blacks and Whites. But higher levels of negative family-to-work spillover were related to higher levels of depressive symptoms among Black women only. A protective relationship from positive family-to-work spillover for depressive symptoms was observed among White women only. This study fills an important gap in the literature on racial differences in the relationship between work-family spillover and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100724
JournalSSM - Population Health
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Race
  • USA
  • Work-family spillover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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