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Study documents the importance of supportive spouses in coping with work-related stress
Date:2/16/2012

The growth of two-income families and increasing levels of job stress are two of the most significant work trends affecting American businesses and families in recent years. Having just one stressed-out spouse can harm couple's work and home lives but what about when it's both?

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 yest
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Contact: Wayne Hochwarter
whochwarter@cob.fsu.edu
850-644-7849
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert

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