Spousal Problems and Family-to-Work Conflict

Marshal Neal Fettro, Bowling Green State University
Kei Nomaguchi, Bowling Green State University

Research has shown that children’s health and behavioral problems are major family demands that influence parents’ family-to-work conflict, while ignoring the potential importance of spouses’ health problems or emotional and behavioral difficulties as primary sources of family-to-work conflict for employed adults. Analyses using data from the 1995-1996 National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (N = 1,499) show that more than one-fourth of employed adults report their spouse having a health problem, and close to half report their spouse having other types of problems such as anxiety, substance abuse, and interpersonal issues. Spouses’ health or other problems are positively related to respondents’ family-to-work conflict in part through increased time strain, relationship strain, and financial strain. We find no variation in the associations by gender or parental status. These findings suggest that spouses’ health and other problems have notable implications for employed adults’ ability to balance work and family.

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Presented in Session 131: Work-Family Balance and Conflict