Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1997

Abstract

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.

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