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Role Burdens: The Impact of Employment and Family Responsibilities on the Health Status of Latino Women


This paper explores the relative effects of employment and family responsibility on the perceived health status of Latino women. The data source analyzed for this study was the 1990 Panel Study of Income Dynamics/Latino National Political Survey (PSID/LNPS) Early-Release File (n = 1,502). Regression analyses were used to investigate the contributions of variables associated with perceived health status, including sociodemographics, Latino ethnicity, language, employment, and family responsibility. The results suggest that annual employment hours, occupation, and family responsibilities, such as child care and weekly housework, significantly affect self-reported health status of employed Latinas. Both social causation and social selection may be underlying the associations found. The results suggest that there is need for the development of public policies that seek to increase Latinas' labor force participation rate since any expansion has the potential to have a positive impact on their health status.