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What you should know about this study

Data used in this article come from the 2005 General Social Survey on time use, which interviewed  Canadians aged 15 and over living in the ten provinces. This study is focused on adults 19 to 64 years old whose main activity during the year was working. The target population is based on approximately 9,700 respondents and represents over 13.4 million Canadians.

Workaholic: All respondents who answered “Yes” to the question "Do you consider yourself a workaholic?" This self-identification is based purely on the respondent’s perception of time, and not on the actual number of hours they work.

The term “workaholic” is used in the popular literature more than in the field of psychology, where the term “work dependency” is often preferred. The word itself came into use in the 1970s and has become an enduring term in common language. Previous research has suggested that about 1 in 4 individuals perceive themselves as workaholics,1 and a number of different subtypes have been identified in the academic literature.2  Depending on their responses to screening questions, workaholics may be classified as anything from a “work enthusiast” to an “unengaged worker.”3

For further information on classification of subtypes of workaholics, and on the concept as a whole, see J. Spence and A. Robbins, 1992. "Workaholism: Definition, measurement, and preliminary results." Journal of Personality Assessment. Vol. 58, no.1. p.160-178.


  1. Bonebright, Clay and Ankenmann. 2000; Burke, R. 1999. “Workaholism in Organizations: Gender Differences.” Sex Roles. Vol. 41, no. 5/6. p. 333-345; Griffiths, M. 2005. "Workaholism is still a useful construct." Addiction Theory and Research. Vol. 13, no. 2. p. 97-100; Kemeny, A. 2002. "Driven to excel: A portrait of Canada's workaholics." Canadian Social Trends. No. 62. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-008-XIE. p. 2-7; Spence and Robbins.1992.
  2. Robinson, B. 2000. "Workaholism: Bridging the gap between workplace, sociocultural and family research." Journal of Employment Counselling. Vol. 37, March. p. 31-47.
  3. Spence and Robbins.1992.

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