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The role of gender in workplace stress: A critical literature review

Journal article
Authors Kristina Gyllensten
Stephen Palmer
Published in Health Education Journal
Volume 64
Issue 3
Pages 271-288
ISSN 0017-8969
Publication year 2005
Published at
Pages 271-288
Language en
Keywords Gender Stressors Workplace stress
Subject categories Psychology


Objective: The aim of this review was to evaluate research relating to the role of gender in the level of workplace stress. A further aim was to review literature relating to stressors of particular relevance to working women. These stressors included, multiple roles, lack of career progress and discrimination and stereotyping. Design: Systematic review. Method: Major databases were searched in order to identify studies investigating gender and workplace stress. A range of research designs were included and no restrictions were made on the basis of the occupations of the participants. Results: Much of the research indicated that women reported higher levels of stress compared to men. However, several studies reported no difference between the genders. Furthermore, the evidence for the adverse effects of multiple roles, lack of career progress and discrimination and stereotyping was inconsistent. Conclusion: The current review concluded that the evidence regarding the role of gender in workplace stress and stressors was inconsistent. Limitations of the research were highlighted and implications for practice were discussed.

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