Maximizing benefits and minimizing impacts: dual-earner couples’ perceived division of household labor decision-making process

Matthew W. Carlson, Jason D. Hans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Researchers have thoroughly documented the various factors that influence couples’ division of household labor. Although numerous approaches have been taken to explain these factors that influence the division of household labor, perceptions of the decision-making process of dividing household labor within a marriage is seldom considered and is therefore the focus of this study. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 heterosexual, dual-earner couples. Data were analyzed with grounded theory methodology. Findings included that couples viewed themselves as first attempting to divide household labor in ways that they perceived as being the most beneficial for them as a couple. When issues arose with a particular task or arrangement, or with the division of labor more generally, they made adjustments intended to minimize the negative impact of those issues. Findings are contextualized within the major theories surrounding quantitative data on household labor (i.e. time availability, relative resources, and gender ideology perspectives). Implications for family researchers, educators, and practitioners are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-225
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Family Studies
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Household labor
  • couples
  • decision-making
  • dyadic
  • grounded theory
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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