Work-related influences on marital satisfaction amongst shift-workers and their partners: a large, matched-pairs study,

Published 2015

Publication Type: Community, Work and Family 17 (3), 288-307,

Author(s): Peetz, D & Murray, G. & Muurlink, O,

This study details a large cross-sectional couples-level exploration of work-related variables and marital satisfaction (MSAT) in a shift work context. It uses a recognized MSAT scale and a number of existing and new instruments to examine work characteristics that include: support, safety climate, work–life balance, and sleep, in combination with scales for other commonly used explanatory variables in MSAT studies. The study shows that work-specific variables explain significant proportions of the variance in MSAT in both shiftworker and partner samples. We see the operation of spillover effects (work affecting other aspects of life), primary crossover effects (where the partner’s perception of the shiftworker’s job affects their own MSAT), and secondary crossover effects (where aspects of the shiftworker’s attitudes or behavior, measured in the shiftworker survey, influence partner MSAT in the partner survey). Work–life interference influences marital dissatisfaction, with negative views on the part of the partner to their spouse’s work–life interface being more important than partner perceptions about the partner’s own work–life balance. Social support for both parties, sleep quality, shiftworker morningness, psychological health, workplace risk culture, and job insecurity all played some role in MSAT, as did demographic variables such as age and the presence of children.

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