Individuals internalize the roles they play and the statuses they occupy in their social networks. It logically follows that the benefits and costs of women's role commitments may be critically important to their physical and mental health. This literature review focuses on distressing or negative aspects of enacting the specific primary roles of worker, wife, and mother. Vicarious stress and inadequate social support for women in these roles may contribute to immunosupression and disease vulnerability. Some women may choose the sick role as a means of escape from taxing role responsibilities. Future directions for women's health research are suggested, along with the adoption of an empowerment model of health.
Sandra Thomas. "Distressing Aspects of Women's Roles" Issues in Mental Health Nursing 18 (1997): 539.