Decision Making Ability - Its Influence on General, Menstrual and Mental Health Status of Married Women - A Comparative Study between Employed and Unemployed Women

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Women's Health, Employment, Decision Making Ability, General Health, Menstrual Health, Mental Health.


Freedom in decision-making is a significant aspect of an individual´s life. Male members generally take over the responsibility of deciding family matters. Women's autonomy in decision making contributes in their development and lowers family strain. The study aims (i) to determine the level of decision making ability of women and their involvement in family decisions (ii) to determine the factors affecting their decision making ability and (iii) to study the influence of decision making ability on the general, menstrual and mental health status, a cross sectional study conducted in Mysore city. Employed Women (EW) 400 and Unemployed Women (UEW) 272, educated and married, aged 25-40 years participated, self-reporting questionnaires were used to collect information regarding, demographic details, decision making ability, General Health Problems (GHP) and Pre-Menstrual Symptoms (PMS). Depression, anxiety and stress score questionnaire was used to assess the mental health. EW had better decision making ability. Family structure, number of dependants positively correlated with decision making among UEW and EW (p<0.0001). Age had a positive influence on UEW (p=0.05%). EW independently took decisions for various household activities; UEW did along with their husbands. Higher percentage of women with limited involvement in decision making irrespective of their employment status were found to experience general health problems. EW and UEW involved in complete and limited decision making reported to experience menstrual problems. Mild and moderate forms of stress, anxiety and depression occurred in relatively higher proportion of employed women. However, a significantly higher percentage of UEW experienced severe stress, anxiety and depression. Freedom to make a decision is relaxing and helps develop confidence. Decision making ability of women is a major indicator of her family status. EW enjoy more freedom and are better decision makers, this has a positive influence on their general and mental health.


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How to Cite

Thabassum, A. F., & Begum, K. (2021). Decision Making Ability - Its Influence on General, Menstrual and Mental Health Status of Married Women - A Comparative Study between Employed and Unemployed Women. The Indian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, 58(1), 107–119.



Original Articles
Received 2020-02-18
Accepted 2021-01-18
Published 2021-03-03

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