The effects of gender on physical and psychological well-being and life satisfaction among an adult population (pp. 307-320)
Authors: Bruce D. Kirkcaldy, Adrian F. Furnham, and Rainer G. Siefen
Abstract: 1,276 European adults were administered a Checklist of Physical Complaints and an Inventory of Satisfaction with specific aspects of daily life and social relationships. Women were more anxious and complained more about diverse physical ailments, particularly tension headaches, sickness and nausea, mental fatigue, migraine, lack of appetite, muscular aches and pains and skin disorders than men. No gender differences were observed however, on chest pains, sexual problems and low/high blood pressures, nor were there any somatic ailments in which men scored reported higher scores than women. There were few gender differences in satisfaction on work and leisure issues with the exception of finances where women were significantly more satisfied than men. On all scales of social relationships e.g. working atmosphere, family and partnership, women yielded higher satisfaction scores than men. Specific somatic ailments were significant predictors of psychological health, explaining between 14-25% of the variance in health outcome variables for men and women. Overall, the association between somatic health and psychological ill-health was significant for both men and women, but tended to be more pronounced for women. The implications of these results are discussed within the framework of health and policy makers.