The relationship between employment status and job burnout in women: a contradiction between effort-reward imbalance and work-family imbalance.
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Background. Job burnout is a huge mental health problem, often perceived as genderneutral. However, this gender-neutral view is inconsistent, meaning that the causes of job burnout are probably different for women. Inconsistent evidence exists regarding the relationship between employment status and job burnout in women. According to the rolestrain theory, part-time work alleviates job burnout in women, because work-family imbalance decreases when time and energy are allocated in a manageable way. However, mixed results are found in this relationship. Moreover, the effort-reward model postulates that a discrepancy between efforts and rewards at work induces job burnout in women. This might mean that not only employment status induces job burnout in women. The following research question is formulated: What is the role of effort-reward imbalance and work-family imbalance in explaining the relationship between employment status and job burnout in women? Methods. This study had a quantitative research approach and used data from the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS-2015). After deleting participants due to exclusion criteria, a sample size of 3590 women remained living in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Austria and the United Kingdom. Results. The results of this study showed first of all that full-time work was associated with job burnout in women. Second, effort-reward imbalance was associated with job burnout in women. Third, work-family imbalance was associated with job burnout in women. Fourth, work-family imbalance mediated the relation between full-time work and job burnout in women. Conclusion. This research has contributed to the inconsistent results of employment status on job burnout in women. This study showed that in line with the role-strain theory, women who work full-time experienced more job burnout as compared to women working part-time, especially due to the experience of a work-family imbalance. Policies should therefore focus on decreasing job burnout in women who work full-time.