Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stresses of unemployed spouse can hurt job performance of other spouse

23.02.2011
Ignoring the stresses of an unemployed spouse's job search does not bode well for the employed spouse's job productivity or home life, says a University of Colorado Boulder professor.

Associate Professor Maw-Der Foo of CU-Boulder's Leeds School of Business studies employee workplace issues, including those related to interpersonal relationships.

Foo and lead author Professor Zhaoli Song of the National University of Singapore co-authored a paper titled "Unraveling the Stress Crossover Between the Unemployed and Their Spouses," which was published in last month's edition of the Journal of Applied Psychology.

In the study they examined daily stresses felt by married couples in which one spouse was employed and the other unemployed, and how that stress affected each spouse.

"One of the key findings in this study is that couples are better at sharing their burden than helping alleviate it," Foo said. "If you feel bad at home there is going to be spillover at work where you will also feel lousy. Going into the study we thought that marital support might help alleviate the stress of unemployment on the family unit, but it didn't turn out to be the case."

One of the take-home messages from the study and others Foo has conducted on the workplace is that organizations need to be more sensitive and supportive when their employees have family members -- particularly a spouse -- who are unemployed.

"Organizations can implement family-friendly policies to help their employees fulfill their family roles, which in turn may increase the employee's productivity," he said.

However, in difficult economic times, many organizations may elect to limit some services for their employees, such as couples counseling, due to their cost.

"Couples counseling may fall into the category of company cutbacks now because programs such as these usually don't affect the bottom line until some time down the road," Foo said. "Our findings call for more attention on the family as an integrated system in responding to the unemployment situation."

In the study, which took place in Shenyang, China, each couple turned in a daily report of their distresses. The researchers examined the interaction between the work life and family life of the employed and unemployed spouse. Since they had responses from both employed and unemployed people, they were able to compare them and draw conclusions.

"For example, the spouse experiencing job stress may reduce his or her marital support to their spouse, which then leads to more stress for the unemployed spouse, who then returns the favor and adds even more stress," Foo said.

One of the unique parts of the study, Foo said, is that they studied couples' interactions daily for two weeks. In particular, they looked at what is called the crossover effect, which refers to a situation when each spouse transmits and catches the stresses of the other.

"We looked at the unemployed person's activities and their distress, but we also looked at the work experience of the employed person and how that also spills over to the family relationship," he said.

Foo said more closely examining the stress and coping mechanisms among couples facing the problem of unemployment also may provide some practical insights to family counselors, psychotherapists and other practitioners who develop family-focused interventions to prevent the breakdown of relationships.

Marilyn Uy of the University of Victoria in Victoria, Canada, and Shuhua Sun of the National University of Singapore also contributed to the study.

Contact: Maw-Der Foo, Leeds School of Business, 303-735-5423
Greg Swenson, CU media relations, 303-492-3113

Maw-Der Foo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.colorado.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>