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Fit for fight - a study of conflict and mental health in women dominated work place from a gender perspective

Research project The purpose of the present research is to study what impact conflicts have for individual mental health within women dominated workplaces such as primary school, elderly care and social service from a gender perspective.

Employees and managers spend a large amount of their time handling conflicts, both destructive and constructive, and its consequences. The relationship between mental health and perceived conflicts and gender may be explained by differences in working conditions and given that both managers.

Head of project

Britt-Inger Keisu
Senior lecturer (associate professor)
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period

2017-01-01 2019-12-31

Funding

Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2016-2018: SEK 3,734,000

Research subject

Sociology

Project description

The purpose of the present research is to study what impact conflicts have for individual mental health within women dominated workplaces such as primary school, elderly care and social service from a gender perspective. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, we strive to examine as well as influence gender awareness of conflicts and gender and in collaboration start up transformation processes at workplaces. We have chosen to focus on conflicts, both destructive and constructive, as the literature suggest that they may be an explanation as to why women dominated workplaces are unhealthier from a work environmental perspective. Previous research suggests that gender integrated workplaces have fewer conflicts and that ill health and sick leave increases the more gender segregated an occupation is. However, more knowledge is needed to shed light on factors that can explain these findings. The relationship between mental health and perceived conflicts and gender may be explained by differences in working conditions and given that both managers and employees spend a large amount of their time handling conflicts and its consequences, we find the lack of knowledge worrisome and argue that the current project can make an important contribution. The present project consists of two studies. The first study is a survey study with employees within women dominated occupations where prevalence, predictors and consequences of conflicts are analyzed. The second study is interactive were interviews and workshops with first-line managers, employees and union representatives focusing gendered aspects of conflict, conflict management and working environment are included. The results of this project may contribute with knowledge about gender and conflict that can be used and implemented as a preventive approach to the aspects of health and safety at work by key actors at women dominated workplaces.

Keywords; conflicts, working environment, women dominated occupations, gender and organizational theory