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Couples’ division of employment and household chores and relationship satisfaction: A test of the specialization and equity hypotheses

Couples’ division of employment and household chores and relationship satisfaction: A test of the specialization and equity hypotheses
Couples’ division of employment and household chores and relationship satisfaction: A test of the specialization and equity hypotheses
This article investigates associations between couples’ divisions of time spent on employment and household chores and respondents’ satisfaction with their partner relationship. Theoretical notions of specialization and equity were used to derive hypotheses. Specialization relates to differentiation in the content of tasks, whereas equity in hours indicates similarity in time devoted to family needs. We study direct effects of hours-equity and specialization with relationship satisfaction, but more importantly we investigate to what extent associations differ for people with egalitarian gender role attitudes, and for people with young children. We analysed dyadic data from the British Household Panel Survey. Surprisingly, no main effects of hours-equity and specialization on relationship satisfaction were found. Our results did show that for men with egalitarian gender role attitudes, equity in hours positively affected relationship satisfaction. Moreover, specialization was related to lower relationship satisfaction for men with egalitarian gender role attitudes. Conditional effects were not found for women or for the presence of children.
0266-7215
195-208
Blom, Niels
86fa14cb-1402-453f-a01c-3c919925baae
Kraaykamp, Gerbert
b5f7aea6-c71f-449e-8818-a2d51c534819
Verbakel, Ellen
6356d2c2-c585-4cc0-9e63-ee1f69547277
Blom, Niels
86fa14cb-1402-453f-a01c-3c919925baae
Kraaykamp, Gerbert
b5f7aea6-c71f-449e-8818-a2d51c534819
Verbakel, Ellen
6356d2c2-c585-4cc0-9e63-ee1f69547277

Blom, Niels, Kraaykamp, Gerbert and Verbakel, Ellen (2017) Couples’ division of employment and household chores and relationship satisfaction: A test of the specialization and equity hypotheses. European Sociological Review, 33 (2), 195-208. (doi:10.1093/esr/jcw057).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article investigates associations between couples’ divisions of time spent on employment and household chores and respondents’ satisfaction with their partner relationship. Theoretical notions of specialization and equity were used to derive hypotheses. Specialization relates to differentiation in the content of tasks, whereas equity in hours indicates similarity in time devoted to family needs. We study direct effects of hours-equity and specialization with relationship satisfaction, but more importantly we investigate to what extent associations differ for people with egalitarian gender role attitudes, and for people with young children. We analysed dyadic data from the British Household Panel Survey. Surprisingly, no main effects of hours-equity and specialization on relationship satisfaction were found. Our results did show that for men with egalitarian gender role attitudes, equity in hours positively affected relationship satisfaction. Moreover, specialization was related to lower relationship satisfaction for men with egalitarian gender role attitudes. Conditional effects were not found for women or for the presence of children.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 November 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 January 2017
Published date: April 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426180
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426180
ISSN: 0266-7215
PURE UUID: 4b0e67ba-30b2-473a-a114-0f3e59554c39
ORCID for Niels Blom: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0742-4554

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Date deposited: 16 Nov 2018 17:30
Last modified: 15 Aug 2019 00:21

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Contributors

Author: Niels Blom ORCID iD
Author: Gerbert Kraaykamp
Author: Ellen Verbakel

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