Objectives: We examined gender and age differences in the impact of multiple role occupancy on health-related behaviours and health status among working age Japanese adults. Methods: We analysed the individually linked, nationally representative data of 5693 respondents aged 20-59, who completed the Comprehensive Survey of the Living Conditions of People on Health and Welfare and the National Nutrition Survey, conducted by the Japanese government in 1995. Results: Younger women benefited from multiple roles (less smoking), while younger men demonstrated more high-risk behaviours (more smoking, heavier drinking). By contrast, middle-aged men benefited from multiple roles (less smoking, fewer health problems), while middle-aged women reported lower health maintenance behaviours (less exercise, fewer health check-ups). Conclusions: Japanese society appears to be undergoing a transition in gender roles, as reflected by age and gender differences in the impact of multiple roles on health and health-related behaviours. Middle-aged males benefit from multiple roles (being the primary bread-winner and being married), while middle-aged women do not. This pattern seems to break down for younger Japanese men and women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health