A new study conducted by Wayne Hochwarter, the Jim Moran Professor of Business Administration in the Florida State University College of Business, examines the role of support in households where daily stress is common to both spouses.
"Given that a lack of support from one's spouse represents a major cause of both divorce and career derailment, this research is needed to address issues that affect both home and work," Hochwarter said.
More than 400 working couples, in both blue- and white-collar occupations, participated in Hochwarter's research. Those who reported high levels of stress but strong spousal support — as compared to stressed-out employees without such support — experienced the following positive benefits:
50 percent higher rates of satisfaction with their marriage;
33 percent greater likelihood of having positive relationships with co-workers;
30 percent lower likelihood of experiencing guilt associated with home/family neglect;
30 percent lower likelihood of being critical of others (spouse, children) at home;
25 percent higher rates of concentration levels at work;
25 percent lower likelihood of experiencing fatigue at home after work;
25 percent higher rates of satisfaction with the amount of time spent with their children;
20 percent higher views that their careers were heading in the right direction; and
20 percent higher level of job satisfaction.
The number of employees who returned to the workplace even more agitated because they were unable to generate coping support at home is particularly distressing to Hochwarter.
"When you're still angry or upset from yesterday's stress, your workday will likely go in only one direction — down," he said.
Further, Hochwarter identified key factors distinguishing favorable from unfavorable support.
"Some attempts to support your stressed-out spouse can backfire, actually making the situation much worse," he said.
Support that had a deep and far-reaching impact had several common characteristics, which included:Awareness of one's spouse's daily work demands (i.e., time pressures, lack of resources, deadlines, and supervisors).
According to one 47-year-old sales manager interviewed for the study, "I had a horrible day, and all I wanted was a home-cooked meal and some time to myself. Instead, I took my wife out to dinner and heard everything about her bad boss and how her co-workers weren't pulling their weight. By the end of the evening, we both felt at least a little bit better."
Hochwarter also noted that the men and women differed by gender in terms of what support behaviors worked best for them. In general, wives appreciated getting "cut some slack" in terms of household activities; feeling wanted; and receiving expressions of warmth and affection. The husbands, meanwhile, were more likely to respond positively to offers of assistance with errands and feeling appreciated and needed.
Both husbands and wives, however, were especially grateful for their spouse's help in getting time away from work and home hassles to simply rest and recharge their batteries.
"When stress enters any relationship, it has the potential to either bind people together or break them apart," Hochwarter said. "Findings strongly confirm this with respect to job tension. What also became obvious was the critical role of communication and trust among spouses; without them, you have a foundation best described as crumbling, even in the best of circumstances."
Affirming that is the view of one 54-year-old administrative assistant in the study. When questioned how job stress can affect a relationship, she responded, "Ask my ex-husband."
The study is being prepared for publication.
Wayne Hochwarter | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
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...
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...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
24.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.05.2017 | Life Sciences
24.05.2017 | Life Sciences