Anxiety and Depression Among Working and Non-Working Women

DISCUSSION

Results in the previous chapter had been very informative and will be discussed in context to hypothesis discussed in chapter 4.

The present study was carried out to assess the level of anxiety and depression among working and non working women. A sample of 60 women was taken consisting of 30 working and 30 non-working women from Delhi and NCR region. The independent variables used for the study were working and non working women and the dependent variables studied were anxiety and depression. The results obtained in chapter 4 were analyzed and the discussion related to the hypothesis is presented below.

In addition to this, the anxiety and depression was compared in the following groups.

Levels of anxiety and depression were compared between working and non working women in anxiety and depression.
Levels of anxiety and depression were compared between working and non working women on the basis of nuclear and joint family.
Levels of anxiety and depression were compared between working and non working women belonging to the age group 25-35 and 36-50.
Correlation between anxiety and depression was also calculated and interpreted.

Keeping in view the objectives, four hypotheses were formulated and their discussion and interpretation is as follows.

Problem 1: There will be significant difference between anxiety levels of working and non working women

A comparison was made between the working and non working women on the basis of their anxiety levels. As it can be seen from the analysis of table 4.2(chapter 4), the anxiety levels of working women is higher than the non working women. The mean value for the working women was 25.00 whereas for non working women the value was 20.23. From the same table it was inferred that there was no statistically significant difference in the anxiety levels of working and non working women.

Many studies have been done relevant to this research. A research done by Aleem and Danish (2008) on Marital satisfaction and Anxiety among single and dual career women at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi summarized that pressure and hassles of jobs not only affect marital life but also proved to be a major source of anxiety particularly among women and also marital satisfaction among working women hardly get disturbed due to their multiple roles but the thought processes seemed to be disturbed that is manifested in the higher anxiety among women. This study supports the findings which show higher mean values in working women than non working women. Mukhopadhyay et al (1993) researched on Working status and anxiety levels of urban educated women in Calcutta and summarized that non working mothers showed higher anxiety levels than their working counterparts with respect to the total anxiety score as well as components, although the differences were statistically non-significant. This study supports the statistically insignificant difference in the results of the present research.

Problem 2: There will be significant differences between the levels of depression in working and non working women.

A comparison was made between the working and non working women on the basis of their levels of depression. As it can be seen from the analysis of table 4.2(chapter 4), the depression levels of working women are higher than that of non working women. The mean value of depression levels of working women is 11.13 whereas the mean value of the non working women which is 6.1000 showing difference in the depression levels of the two groups. From the table it is inferred that there is statistically significant difference between the two groups (sig 2 tailed=0.034).

Many researchers have worked in this field, one such research done by Weiclaw et al(2008) Psychosocial working conditions and the risk of depression and anxiety disorders in the Danish workforce show high risks of depression related to high emotional demands and working with people.

Results of another research done by Netterstom et al (2008) The Relation between Work-related Psychosocial Factors and the Development of Depression showed moderate evidence for a relation between development of depression and the psychological demands of the job.

Yet another research done by Melchior et al (2007) studied depression and anxiety in young, working women and men due to work stress. The results showed that participants exposed to high psychological job demands (excessive workload, extreme time pressures) had a twofold risk of major depression or generalized anxiety disorder compared to those with low job demands. The study stated that in previously healthy young workers, diagnosable depression and anxiety is precipitated by work stress.

Another research relevant to the present research was done by Balaji et al (2014). A Comparative Study on Depression among Working and Non-Working Women in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. This study was done to assess the burden of depression its risk factors among adult female working and non working population. The results indicated that working women suffer more from depression than non-working women. The risk factors for depression were identified as economic problems workplace problems, relationship problems and no personal life satisfaction.

The above studies support the results in the present research. The reasons for higher levels of depression among working women could be due to the reason that working women have to focus not only on their work sphere but also on their family life. It has also been observed that working women are not clear about their expectations which not only affect their daily routine but also health status of each and every woman especially in the developing nations like India remains precarious. Also since working women are unable to spend time with their family and not able to give time to their children due to their work it leads to depression in them. And working women also do not have enough time to look after themselves leading to a lot of health issues.

These reasons are also supported by a research done by Greenhaus & Beutell (2000) Sources of Conflict between Work and Family Roles. This study examined the literature on the conflict between work and family roles and found out that work-family conflict exists when: (a) time devoted to the requirements of one role makes it difficult to fulfill requirements of another; (b) strain from participation in one role makes it difficult to fulfill requirements of another; and (c) specific behaviors required by one role make it difficult to fulfill the requirements of another.

Whereas non working women have more time to spend with their family, they are able to concentrate on their health, family life and have a lot of time for themselves. These might be some of the reasons why working women rate higher levels of depression than non working women.

Problem 3: There will be higher levels of anxiety and depression in females belonging to nuclear families than those staying in joint families.

A comparison was done on the basis of anxiety and depression levels among working women of nuclear and joint families. As can be inferred from table 4.4(chapter 4) the anxiety levels of working women from nuclear families is higher than those from joint families. The mean scores of working women from nuclear families is 39.1667 which is higher than working women from joint families which is 15.5556. There is a statistically significant difference between the two groups as can be seen from the value of sig. (2 tailed) =.000

It was also inferred from the same table that the depression levels of working women belonging to nuclear families was higher than those working women belonging to joint families. The mean scores of working women from nuclear families is 18.33 which is higher than those of joint families which is 6.33.There is also a statistically significant difference between the two groups as seen from the value of sig. (2 tailed) = .003

Then another comparison was done on the basis of anxiety and depression levels among non working women of nuclear and joint families. As can be inferred from table 4.5(chapter4) the anxiety levels of non working women from nuclear families was higher than that of non working belonging to joint families. The mean scores of non working women of nuclear families have a mean score of 28.5358 which is higher than the mean score of non working women of joint families which is 13.8824. There is also a statistically significant difference between the two groups as seen by the value of sig. (2 tailed) = .002.

It was also inferred from the same table that the depression levels of non working women belonging to nuclear families was higher the non working women belonging to joint families. The mean scores of non working women of nuclear have a mean score of 8.2308 which is higher than that of non working women of joint families which is 4.4706. There is also a statistically significant difference between the two groups as seen by the value of sig. (2 tailed) = .047.

So from tables 4.4 and 4.5 (chapter 4) it is inferred that women belonging to nuclear families report higher levels of both anxiety and depression than those belonging to joint families be it working women or non working.

Many studies have been done on this and one such research was done by Doby & Caplan (1995). Organizational Stress as Threat to Reputation: Effects on Anxiety at Work and at Home. The results of this study showed that high threat stressors were most likely to generate the anxiety experienced at home and for this the anxiety experienced at work was the key mediator.

As the above study supports our finding in the present research some of the reasons for this finding could be as in a joint family most of the responsibilities are taken care of by the other family members. There isn’t a lot of burden alone on one woman of the family. The family members of a joint family not only provide physical support but also financial support and are also present mentally and emotionally. So this leads to the overall being of an individual. Whereas in a nuclear family all the work load and responsibility is on one person only be it of work or of the household sphere. Hence it was found that anxiety and depression levels of women belonging to nuclear families are higher than those belonging to joint families.

Problem 4: There will be higher levels of anxiety and depression in females in the age group of 36-50 than those in 25-35.

A comparison was done among the working women belonging to the age group of 25-35 and 36-50. As can be inferred from the table 4.7(chapter 4) that the working women belonging to age range 25-35 report higher on anxiety levels than that of age group 36-50. The mean score of working women lying in the age group of 25-35 is 30.3684 and of working women lying in the age group of 36-50 is 15.7273. There is a statistically significant difference in the two groups as seen by the value of sig. (2 tailed) =.031

It was also inferred from the same table, that working women of age group 25-35 showed higher levels of depression than the 36-50 age group. The mean score of working women lying in the age group of 25-35 is 13.7368 and that of working women lying in the age group of 36-50 is 6.6364. But there is no statistically significant difference between the two groups as seen by the value of sig. (2 tailed) = .106

Another comparison was done among the non working women belonging to the age group of 25-35 and 36-50. As can be inferred from the table 4.8(chapter 4) that the non working women belonging to the age range of 25-35 show higher mean values on anxiety scale than the age group 36-50 but there no statistically significant difference between them. The mean score of non working women lying in the age group of 25-35 is 22.2308 and of age group of 36-50 is 18.7059. But there is no statistically significant difference in the two groups as seen by the value of sig. (2 tailed) =.489

It was also inferred from the same table that the non working women of age group 25-35 show higher mean values on depression scale than age group 36-50 but there isn’t any statistically significant difference between them. The mean scores of non working women lying in the age group of 25-35 are 6.8462 and of the age group of 36-50 is 5.5294. But there is no statistically significant difference between the groups as seen from the value of sig. (2 tailed) = .499

So from the tables 4.7 and 4.8 (chapter 4) it is inferred that working women of age group 25-35 show higher levels of anxiety than 36-50 age group and other than this no other significant differences were seen in the levels of depression in these two groups. Also no significant difference was seen in the non working women for the two groups.

One study which supports our findings was done by Melchior et al (2007) studied depression and anxiety in young, working women and men due to work stress. The results showed that participants exposed to high psychological job demands (excessive workload, extreme time pressures) had a twofold risk of major depression or generalized anxiety disorder compared to those with low job demands. The study stated that in previously healthy young workers, diagnosable depression and anxiety is precipitated by work stress.

Another studied stating the importance of family support was done by Dew et al (2009) studied mental health effects of job loss in women. This study reviews literature on involuntary job loss and its effects on mental health among women. The occurrence and duration of lay-off was significantly associated with increased depressive symptoms, but not anxiety-related symptoms. Results showed that among women who were laid off, those who had poor levels of support from their husband and those experiencing more financial difficulties reported higher levels of depression.

A study done by Fall et al (2013) on Comparative study of major depressive symptoms among pregnant women by employment status does Multivariate analyses showing that factors such as low education, low social support outside of work, having experienced acute stressful events, lack of money for basic needs, experiencing marital strain, having a chronic health problem, country of birth, and smoking were significantly associated with major depressive symptoms

The reasons for higher level of anxiety in working women of age group 25-35 could be since they have just stated with their career so they are mostly anxious about their work. They are new to the professional world, burden of work, new set of responsibilities. Also in India this is the time for women to get married so the pressure of marriage, newlyweds and work leads to anxiety among this age group.

Problem 5: There will be correlation between depression and anxiety among working and non working women.

It was assumed that there would be a relationship between depression and anxiety. From table 4.9(chapter 4) it was seen that there is a positive correlation between depression and anxiety. This could be seen from the above mentioned table that if anxiety levels increase then so does the depression and vice versa.

Research supporting our hypothesis was given by. Birch & Kamli (2000) Psychological stress, anxiety, depression, job satisfaction, and personality characteristics in preregistration house officers. This study got lifestyle questionnaires filled by the officers and measured the self rated psychological stress, state anxiety, job satisfaction, and personality characteristics. It was seen that more of women suffered psychological stress, possible anxiety and possible depression

Another study was done by Bhadoria (2013). Level of Anxiety and Depression Among Working Women and Non Working Women of Gwalior. As today’s women have a whole set of responsibilities and problems involving the professional and family life, this study tried to compare the levels of depression and anxiety among working and non working women. The results obtained showed significant levels of difference between working and non working women.

The above mentioned researches support our hypothesis that if someone has high levels of anxiety then that person shows high levels of depression as well.