Quality of life, Hardiness and Self-esteem of Employed & Non-Employed Females: A Comparative Study


Dharmendra Kumar Singh

Associate Professor, Centre for Psychological Science, Central university of South Bihar, Gaya, Bihar. Correspondence: Dharemendra Kumar Singh, e-mail:


Traditional gender roles which viewed male as breadwinner and female as homemaker have changed over the time and there has been an increase in families headed by two working spouses and support to this notion keeps increasing.

Present study was carried out to compare the quality of life, self-esteem and hardiness between employed & non employed females.

Fifty each both from employed & non-employed; thus a total of 100 female subjects were included in the study from Medininanagr (Palamau) through purposive sampling technique. Tools:
World Health Organization -Quality of Life (WHOQOL) – BREF (Hindi Version), Personal view survey and The Cooper smith Self-Esteem Inventory (CSEI) were used.

Results and Conclusion: Non-employed females had better quality of life. A significant positive correlation was found between quality of life with hardiness & self-esteem.

Key words: Quality of life, self-esteem, hardiness.

Quality of life reflects the overall well-being of an individual’s life. It is also known as individuals’ perception of their position in the context of culture and value system in which they live. The quality of life measures the gap, at a particular time between the hopes and expectations of individuals and present experiences of individuals (Calman, 1984). Slowly but surely, women are entering to semi -pro fes s io nal and prof es s ional occupations. Many occupations such as engineering, medical, law and university teaching that were dominated earlier by men, are now equally shared by both the genders. Traditional gender roles which viewed male as breadwinner and female as homemaker, have changed over the time and there has been an increase in families headed by two working spouses. The man is no longer considered as the only “economic provider” for the family. Women are also associating career with self-dignity and identity. In the wake of rapid social change in various aspects of Indian Society, the roles and positions of women are undergoing changes at a rapid pace. These days, women have become more conscious of their own identity and status. Modern women wish to develop self-reliance and self-esteem by taking up jobs in various aspects. Many researchers over the past years have made comparative studies of employed and non-employed females on var ious psychological variables and the relationships between them. Chaudhry (1995) found significant negative correlation between life s t res s and ge neral wel l -being among professional, non-professional and nonemployed females. Very few study was conducted earlier to measure quality of life and Hardiness in working female in Indian setup, so, present study was carried out with following objectives;

1. To compare quality of life, Hardiness and Self Esteem between employed & non employed females.
2. To explore relationship amongst quality of life, self-esteem and hardiness among employed & non-employed females.

A total of 100 females were included in the study from different locali ties of Palamau district, among which 50 were employed and rest 50 were non-employed. Sample was selected through purposive sampling technique.

Inclusion criteria for non employed and employed females:
1. Age must be 25 Years & above
2. Must be educated minimum up to 12th class.
3. Must be employed in any organization/ institute on paid basis
4. Must be cooperative

(i) A semi-structured Sociodemographic and personal data sheet consists of age, education, marital Status, domicile, religion & type of family.
(ii) World Health Organization- Quality of Life (WHOQOL)–BREF (Hindi Version): The questionnaire has been developed by world health organization group in order to provide a short form for quality of life assessment that looks at the domain level profiles . It is an abbreviated 26 items assessment and contains 2 items from the overall QOL and general health, and one item from each of the 24 facets included in WHO QOL-1 00 to pr ov ide br oa d a nd comprehensive assessment. Each item is rated on a five point scale. The questionnaire assesses the quality of life in 4 domains, namely, physical health, psychological health, social relationship, and environment.
(iii) Personal View Survey (PVS): The PVS scale (Kobasa, 1986) consists of 50 items with three subscales, challenge, commitment, and control with 17, 16, 17 items respectively. Scores of 39 items are reversed. Ratings of each item are 0 (not at all true) to 3 (completely true) in 4 escalations. Each score indicates positive value of hardiness. The scoring was reversed in case of negatively items and mean score of three subscales show total score.
(iv) The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (CSEI): The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (Coopersmith, 1970) was designed to measure the respondent’s attitudes toward self in personal, social, fami l y, and a cademi c a re as of experience. With 25 items, scores range from 0 to 25, and the obtained score is multiplied by 4. The maximum possible total score is 100. Low score indicates low self-esteem and high score shows high self-esteem.

Statistical Analysis
Samples were selected on the basis of inclusion criteria and informed consent was obtained. After rapport building, the tools were administered. Raw data was analyzed with the help of SPSS windows 13.0 version. Mean, S.D., t test and Pearson r were calculated.

Table-1 Socio demographic characteristics of sample.
Table-1 Sows that most of the subjects belonged to Hindu religion, semi urban area, were married, belong to nuclear family and educated more than graduation level in both study groups. Both groups were comparable on all variables except occupation.

Table-2: Comparison of quality of life between employed and non-employed females
Table-2 shows that both groups differed significantly on total score of quality of life scale (t=36.31, P<.01) as well as three domains of the scale; Physical domain (t= 19.4, p<.01), Psychological domain (t= 11.6, p<.01) and social domain (t= 12.3, p<.01). Result shows that Non-employed females had better quality of life than subjects who were involved in any working status.

Table-3: Comparison of self esteem between employed and non-employed females:
Table-3 shows that both groups differed significantly on total score of self esteem scale (t= 5.6, p<.01). It means non-employed females had higher self-esteem than employed females.

Table-4: Comparison of Hardiness between employed and non-employed females:
Table-4 shows that both groups differed significantly on total score of hardiness scale (t= 12.3, p<.01). It means non-employed females have higher hardiness than employed females

Table 5: Pearson’s Correlation (r value) amongst Quality of life, Hardiness, and Selfesteem for the total sample.
Table-5 shows that significant positive correlation are obtained among quality of life and selfesteem (r=.49), quality of life and hardiness (r=.53) and hardiness and self-esteem (r=.56).

Present study found that quality of life, self esteem and hardiness is significantly low in the employed females in comparison to nonemployed females. Findings of the present study are supported by the study done by Asadi Sadeghi Azar et al, 2006. This study reveals that to carry out effectively the double burden of work at home and at the work place, the employed females often face unavoidable physical and psychological stress. They have, in fact, to carry out two full time jobs with little time for rest, leisure or self-care. Results also show that quality of life is positively correlated with self esteem and hardiness level. Many earlier researchers found that hardiness is associated with greater wellbeing (Diener et al,1997; Rhodewalt and Agustsdottir, 1984).The plausible reasons for hardiness and quality of life having positive relationship are that hardiness leads to resilience and is a general health promoting factor (Maddi, 1999) thus leading to better quality of life. People high on hardiness are able to cope up with stress better as they are able to reframe and reinterpret adverse experiences (Bigbee, 1985). Since people high on hardiness have more problem solving focused s t rategies and are higher on commitment, control and challenge; such people are likely to perceive themselves as self-efficacious. Hardiness and self-esteem were found to be positively correlated. People high on hardiness, because of their being highly motivated and committed are likely to be attaining more success and have positive experiences. These outcomes of hardiness enhance feeling of self-worth and self-esteem.

Employed females have comparatively poor quality of life, lower hardiness and lower selfesteem than non employed females. This study explores that employed females need psychological and emotional support for having the better quality of life. So policy makers and other stakeholders working in this field should develop programmes on grass root level to target the problems of employed females and thus enhancing their quality of life.

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Conflict of interest: None
Role of funding source: None

It’s a matter of great pride for me that All India Association of Medical Social Work Professionals is launching first issue of “Indian Journal of Health Social Work” on the auspicious occasion of 6th Annual National Conference of AIAMSWP, 2019.

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