For Better or for Worse: The Effects of Nonstandard Work Schedules on Self-Reported Health across Marital Status

Shannon Brenneman, Michigan State University

Nonstandard work schedules are increasingly common in today’s economy. Work during these irregular hours has a negative impact on health. Scholars that investigate this work schedule have yet to explore how marital status, which is linked with better health, may protect the health of nonstandard shift workers in the United States. This study utilizes social control theory to predict that married individuals working nonstandard work schedules will report better health than their unmarried counterparts. An analysis of the National Study of the Changing Workforce demonstrates significant marital status variations in the relationship between work schedule and self-rated health. Specifically, the findings show that cohabiting and divorced or separated nonstandard workers have lower odds of reporting better health than married individuals working a standard schedule. These findings are in accordance with the marital causation model and its explanation of the protective health benefits of marriage.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households