chapter  8
Stress and working parents
Pages 23

Over the past few decades, the number of dual-earner families in the United States has increased substantially (Waite and Nielsen 2001). In 1949, the percentage of working parents with children under the age of 18 was 10 per cent; in the mid-1990s it was over 60 per cent (Bronfenbrenner 1996). When both parents are employed, it is assumed that there are likely to be emotional costs for the adults and the children (Hochschild 1997). One of the personal costs often associated with work for men and women is job stress, that is, role demands originating in the workplace that cause individuals to feel tense, anxious and lacking in self-esteem and confidence (Kahn 1980). Job-related stress, however, is only one type of stress that working couples experience. Balancing the demands of work and family, maintaining a healthy marriage, and providing adequate care for one’s children are just a few of the many demands that create stress for dual-career couples (Hill et al. 2001). Thus, stress that most working families experience is evident in a variety of situations and is likely to affect other relationships at work and at home.