Gender differences in sleep disruption among retail food workers

David J. Maume, Rachel A. Sebastian, Anthony R. Bardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


As women pursue careers while retaining primary responsibility for family life, discretionary time is an emerging arena of gender inequality in contemporary life. This study examines gender inequality in waking role obligations and the implications for differences in sleep disruption. Drawing on a sample of 583 retail food workers, who regularly worked nights and rotating schedules, we find in our multivariate modeling that women experience significantly more sleep disruption than do men. A decomposition analysis shows that almost one-half of the gender gap in sleep disruption is accounted for by gender differences in health status and various dimensions of work-family context. By implication, the remainder of the gender gap in sleep disruption is attributable to differences in responsibility for work-family obligations. Given the need for more research on how work-family conflict affects health and well-being, further research on sleep patterns is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-1007
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Sociological Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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