Being the sole breadwinners of the family takes a toll on men’s psychological well-being and health, a new study by University of Connecticut has found. The results were opposite for women who made larger economic contributions to their family, according to the research.

For the study, the researchers examined 15 years of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth about married people aged between 18 and 32. Their observation found that men who were the only earning member of their family were affected the most psychologically. According to the study, their happiness scores were 5 percent lower and health scores 3.5 percent lower, on average, compared to couples who contributed equally to their family’s finance.

“The data definitely seems to indicate that, in general, as men take responsibility for greater and greater shares of the couple’s pooled income, they experience declines in their psychological well-being and health,” Christin Munsch, lead author of the study, said in a statement Friday.

For women, making higher financial contribution had a positive effect on their overall well-being. However, their psychological well-being and health were affected when they pitched in less money for their family’s finances, the researchers found.

The stark differences between happiness of men and women were attributed to gender-specific roles often imposed by the society.

“Men who make a lot more money than their partners may approach breadwinning with a sense of obligation and worry about maintaining breadwinner status,” Munsch said. “Women, on the other hand, may approach breadwinning as an opportunity or choice. Breadwinning women may feel a sense of pride, without worrying what others will say if they can't or don’t maintain it.”

“Our study finds that decoupling breadwinning from masculinity has concrete benefits for both men and women,” Munsch said. “Whereas men’s psychological well-being and health tend to increase as their wives take on more economic responsibility, women's psychological well-being also improves as they take on more economic responsibility.”

The study will be presented this weekend at the American Sociological Association’s annual conference in Seattle.