Mothers' work hours and marital quality: Variations by family structure and family size

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Abstract

This research uses data from the 1988 wave of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Merged Child-Mother, to investigate the association between married mothers' employment and their reports of marital conflict and marital happiness in continuously married families with children and in mother-stepfather families. For continuously married families with children, the findings indicate a nonsignificant trend that is consistent with role strain perspectives. For mother-stepfather families, there is a significant trend in which mothers' full-time employment is associated with higher marital quality when there are more children in the household. These findings are interpreted in light of the distributive justice perspective's emphasis on the meanings of roles and the importance of spouses' perceptions of equity for marital quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-617
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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