The impact of work and family role salience on marital satisfaction in high demand career couples
Research demonstrates that role salience influences an individual's behaviour in the work, family and leisure domains (Lobel & St Clair, 1992). High work role salience may have negative impacts on couple relations, especially when both partners have high work role salience, due to more limited investment in family roles. The impact of work and family role salience (measured by role rewards and role commitment) on couple relationships was tested in an exploratory study of 36 male golf professionals (high demand careers) and their female spouse/partners. Couples were also categorised into one of three groups based on the female's role (own career, golf industry career, or homemaker). Ordinal regression analyses revealed that Family Role Commitment contributed to Marital Satisfaction for both members of the couple regardless of the female partner's work role. However, golfer marital satisfaction depended on the female partner's work role. Golfers reported higher marital satisfaction when their partner had careers outside golf. Partners with careers reported higher marital satisfaction compared to partners in homemaker roles. These results suggest that individual's identification in a family role contributes to the couple marital satisfaction, however the type of work or family role undertaken by a spouse/partner may provide further explanation.
Combined Abstracts of 2005 Australian Psychology Conferences