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Historical Change in Gender Differences in Mastery: The Role of Education and Employment

Sat, August 12, 8:30 to 9:30am, Palais des congrès de Montréal, Floor: Level 5, 520A


This study examines whether change in the social position of women has led to lower gender differences in mastery. Mastery is an important psychosocial resource, helping to combat the negative mental health effects of daily hassles or stressful events. Differences in mastery often map to differences in social status, such as educational achievement, employment, and stage in the life course. Although previous research finds significant gender differences in mastery, Ross & Mirowsky (2002) maintain the gender difference in mastery are decreasing for younger cohorts due to higher educational achievement and increased workforce participation. This study will expand on their findings by applying Mirowsky’s (2013) age-vector model to the Canadian National Population Health Survey (NPHS), representing eight waves of data from 1994 to 2010. We find that gender differences are indeed decreasing among later born cohorts, as well as being lowest among the younger age groups. This decrease in gender differences can be attributed to two co-occurring trends: an increase in the mastery of later-cohort women through educational attainment, and [employment results to be included].