• Martin Mejlby Jensen
4. term, Sociology, Master (Master Programme)
The aim of this thesis is to examine how work-life conflict is related to the development and maintenance of sleeplessness, and to what extent perceived stress mediates this relation-ship. Sleeplessness, both a health problem in itself and a catalyst to other health concerns, is an emerging yet understudied field in relation to the sociology of health. In relation, conflicts between work and private life has previously been linked to a wide range of health concerns, however knowledge of the impact of conflict on sleep problems is scarse and could be fruitful in understanding the mechanisms and consequences of modern working life in relation to individual health problems.
In brief, work-life conflict is characterized as a situation in which the fulfilling the roles in one of the two domains (work or private life) is in conflict with the fulfilling the roles in the other because of limited time or energy. The thesis draws theoretical inspiration from soci-ologist Arlie Hochschilds concept of time bind, in which working parents, particular mothers, experience the strain and double burden of working life and domestic labor, which includes the blurring lines between work and home. Moreover, the thesis draws inspiration from Rob-ert Karaseks job-strain theory and Richard Lazarus perceived stress theory, to understand the interrelationship between work related factors, individual stress and sleeplessness.
Data was derived from a subsample which consisted of 13,163 full-time workers ranging from 25-64 years of age who had participated in the 2013 Public Health Survey “How are you”. Sleeplessness was measured using a scale consisting of 10 questions regarding different types of selfreported sleep problems. The scale was validated using a mokken scale anal-ysis and it was possible to score between 0-10. An external criteria of the top 20 % was applied to classify participants as having sleeplessness, which amounted to a score of 3,8 on the mokken scale (17 % of men and 22 % of women). Independent variables included work-life conflicts, quantitative job demands, long working hours and the perceived stress scale. A multiple logistic regression was used to determine the effects of work-life conflict, quantita-tive job demands and long working hours on sleeplessness. Furthermore, a mediation analyses was conducted to determine the indirect effect of percieved stress on the association between conflict and sleeplessness.
Results from the logistic analysis showed that most of the work-related factors were directly associated with sleeplessness. Quantitative job demands were significantly associated with sleeplessness, although the effect attenuated when adjusting for work-life conflicts and working hours. The effect of working hours was insignificant at first, although when adjusted for work-life conflicts, the effect of long working hours attenuated, thus indicating that a por-tion of sleeplessness among people with long working hours, could be explained due to con-flict between work and private-life. A high level of work-life conflict was strongly associated with womens (OR: 5,30) and mens (OR: 4,25) sleeplessness, and the association remained robust even when controlling for the other work-related factors and perceived stress. The mediation analysis confirmed that a high perceived stress level only partly explained the association between conflict and sleeplessness, thus indicating that conflict between work and private life in itself is a significant predictor for sleeplessness.
In conclusion, long working hours, quantitative job demands and conflicts between work and private life may be a potential source of developing and maintaining sleeplessness. Effort to support employees at risk with poor balance between work and private life might reduce sleep complaints. Thus sleep complaints related to poor balance between work and private life, could be taken into account in regards to occupational health and worksite health pro-motion in order to reduce the burden of poor sleep.
Publication date4 Aug 2016
Number of pages107
ID: 238073525