Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Long-distance commuters get divorced more often

25.05.2011
Commuting to work can be advantageous in terms of income and career opportunities, and it presents a good alternative to moving.

But long commuting times also entail less time for family and friends and can lead to stress and health problems. Pair relationships are also jeopardized, and according to a new dissertation from Umeå University, the risk of separation is 40 percent higher among long-distance commuters than among other people.

Expanding job market regions are prompting more and more people to commute long distances to work, and for 11 percent of Swedes it takes at least 45 minutes to get to work. Many of them are parents of small children and live with their partner, and most of them are men.

In her dissertation, social geographer Erika Sandow at Umeå University has mapped long-distance commuting in Sweden and examined its impacts on income and relationships. The findings show that even though income and careers often benefit from commuting, social costs are incurred, and, according to Erika Sandow, they should be included in the discussion.

The study covers more than two million Swedes who were married or cohabiting in 2000, and the results are based on Statistics Sweden’s registry data for these individuals from 1995 and 2005. Erika Sandow shows that those who commute long distances gain access to a broader job market and often to greater career opportunities and better income development. But women and men benefit in different degrees, with income increasing more for long-distance commuting men. However, these commuters’ partners lose income, and since most long-distance commuters are men, this means that many women both take home less money and take on the responsibility for the family and children.

– It’s also common for women to take a less qualified job close to home, or to start working part time, in order to drop off and pick up the kids at day care, says Erika Sandow.

Her findings show that expanding work regions primarily benefit the careers of men, and continued increases in long-distance commuting may preserve and reinforce gender differences in the home and on the job market. At the same time, those (few) women who do commute long distances gain new career opportunities and higher pay.

But, as Erika Sandow points out, previous studies have shown that women who commute long distances experience more stress and time pressure, and feel less successful in their work, than men who commute.

A major proportion of long-distance commuters have small children and are well established in certain place. Most of those who start commuting continue to do so, and more than half have been commuting for at least five years. With time, these commuters learn to adapt, according to Erika Sandow, and experience makes it easier to create strategies for making things work out. But the situation is not one that everyone can stand in the long run. The findings indicate that long-distance commuters run a 40 percent higher risk of separating than other people do, and it’s the first years of long-distance commuting that are the most trying for a relationship.

Even though expanding job market regions are good for growth, there are social costs tied to long travel times that should be factored into the debate about broader regions, Erika Sandow emphasizes.

– We don’t know what long-distance commuting will lead to in the long run and what price we’ll have to pay for economic growth. It’s important to highlight the social consequences that commuting entails. For instance, how are children affected by growing up with one or both parents commuting long distances to work?

Dissertation: On the road. Social aspects of commuting long distances to work.

For more information, please contact: Erika Sandow, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeå University, Tel: +46 (0)90-786 5902; mobile: +46 (0)70-256 69 30 E-mail: erika.sandow@geography.umu.se

Camilla Nilsson | idw
Further information:
http://www.umu.se

Further reports about: Social Impacts job market long-distance commuters relationships

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

Conference Week RRR2017 on Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands

28.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>