2008) Comparing the three subgroups seemed meaningful, but other

2008). Comparing the three subgroups seemed meaningful, but other comparisons

might have provided additional explanations. For instance, lower educated men spend more hours caring for their children than highly educated men (Verdonk and De Rijk 2008) and more often combine high physical job demands with lower control at work. Hence, their lives may be more comparable to highly educated women’s working lives than the groups chosen. We did not control for the presence of chronic disease. A stronger healthy worker effect is to be expected among highly educated women older than 50 than among their male counterparts, because ill-health may play a role in women’s lower labor market participation (Abramson 2007). Hence, better self-reported LY2835219 mw health was to be expected in highly educated women than in highly educated men, but this was not found in our data. Nevertheless, health status is important in the mental effort necessary to perform a job. The prevalence of long-term disease such as a heart condition or psychological problems is associated

with NFR, and working requests relatively more effort from people with psychosomatic health complaints (Jansen et al. 2003; Meijman and Zijlstra 2007). Job autonomy is even more important for workers Copanlisib nmr with health problems, because control enables them to efficiently deal with their energy. Implications for research Only by the end of the 1980s, Dutch women’s labor market participation strongly increased. Although highly educated women have always worked more than lower Thiamine-diphosphate kinase educated women, the older women in our sample may be the pioneers of their generation and possibly, our findings must be attributed to a cohort-effect rather than an age-effect. Qualitative research may provide more insight into the process of developing stress complaints and fatigue in highly educated older women, how they experience their work history, their current working and private lives, and their health care needs. Our findings suggest that work is more costly in terms of effort for highly educated

women than for their male counterparts in the workforce. Gender-specific factors such as difficulties in setting limits or putting high demands on oneself are often overlooked in measures of work stress (Holmgren et al. 2009). For instance, in a study among 8,000 MBA students, researchers found that women scored higher than men on the value of wanting to do an excellent job (Frieze et al. 2006). These values are worth studying in relation to fatigue. Besides, given the recent findings that on-the-job BIBW2992 cost recovery opportunities impact on employees’ health and NFR (Van Veldhoven and Sluiter 2009), gender differences in on-the-job recovery opportunities warrant further investigation. A study combining external assessments of job demands and control with self-reports in a high-risk sector such as education may provide more insight in possible gender differences in working conditions and their meanings.

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