THE MYTH OF SOCIAL ROLE AND STRESS
Yow-Hwey Hu (Institute of Plublic Health, National Yang Ming Medical College)、Chiu-Yin Chen(Department of Public Health, China Medical College)
This study examines the assumption that compounding roles compounds stress and explores an alternate vision emphasizing the care content of roles and perception of care givers. Interviews of 321 urban Taiwanese married women, aged 35-50, with multiple roles probed social background, roles, level of demand stemming from each role, level of stress perceived for each role, and reasons why certain roles are evaluated as stressful. Results were as follows: The level of demand for each role varies greatly across the sample and challenges the notion of role as a fixed object. Women saw the mother role as very demanding. A high proportion found the role of daughter-in-law quite demanding, a finding not likely to be duplicated in the West. Counter to expectation, roles of worker and of wife are deemed less demanding. The rankings of stressful roles correlate with evaluations of role demand; however, reasons appear to be less related to the physical work load than to the worry and distress of the caring process attached to the role. The difficulties of the object of care become the problems of the career; that is especially stressful where the care is not reciprocal. The paper concludes that difficulties associated with multiple roles are less a function of the number of roles and more a matter of the caring in the roles.
Role Stress, Caregiver's Burden