Work and family roles and psychological well-being in urban China.

Gina W F LAI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


A theoretical framework that delineates the relationships between work and family roles and psychological well-being is derived from U.S. research and utilized to examine the relationships of work and family stress with psychological well-being in urban China. Data from a sample of 733 married and employed individuals in urban Shanghai confirm the general model of the link between work and family stress and psychological distress. Due to the centrality of work roles for the Chinese, work stress exerts a stronger relationship on psychological well-being than does family stress. Furthermore, the Chinese are more vulnerable to stress arising from interpersonal conflicts than from role demands. In addition, gender differences are found in the relationship between role stress and distress. Women tend to experience more family demands than men. Women's mental health status is tied similarly to stress arising from work and family roles, whereas men are more vulnerable to work stress than family stress. However, Chinese women do not report significantly greater generalized distress than men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-37
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Health and Social Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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