Gender differences in self-reported health and psychological distress among New Zealand adults

Jatrana, Santosh (2021) Gender differences in self-reported health and psychological distress among New Zealand adults. Demographic Research, 45. 21. pp. 693-726.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (225kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Background: Previous research that examines gender differences in health does not rigorously assess the gender-related differential ‘exposure’ and differential ‘vulnerability’ hypotheses; i.e., does not try to identify the ‘direct’ (unmediated) effect of gender or quantify the relative importance of different risk factors for each gender.

Objective: I test the hypothesis that gender differences in health (self-assessed health (SAH) and psychological distress (PD)) are due to indirect or mediating effects via socioeconomic and behavioural factors, and are not a direct effect of gender on health.

Methods: Data (N = 18,030) from the third wave of the Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE) and multivariate logistic regression analyses are used to test gender differences in SAH and psychological distress.

Results: The analyses show that women are less likely to report poor self-assessed health but more likely to report moderate-to-high psychological distress. Differential exposure of men and women to the determinants of health did not completely account for gender differences in health. Gender-specific differences in vulnerability were found only in the direct effects of age, and employment status.

Conclusions: These results suggest that much, but not all, of the association between gender and health is mediated by socioeconomic factors.

Contribution: This paper extends the literature on gender differences in health through a detailed empirical examination of the differential exposure of men and women to sociodemographic, socioeconomic, and health behaviour factors (i.e., indirect effects), and the differential vulnerability of women and men to this exposure (i.e., direct effects).

Item ID: 69846
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1435-9871
Copyright Information: © 2021 Santosh Jatrana. This open-access work is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany (CC BY 3.0 DE), which permits use, reproduction, and distribution in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are given credit. See
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 03:03
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420210 Social epidemiology @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420606 Social determinants of health @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280123 Expanding knowledge in human society @ 50%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280112 Expanding knowledge in the health sciences @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 246
Last 12 Months: 110
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page