Relationships between dual-earner spouses, strategies for coping with home-work demands and emotional well-being

Liat Kulik, Faisal Rayyan

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15 Scopus citations


Based on Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological approach, the present study examined attitudes toward various aspects of marital life (gender-role attitudes, reported division of domestic labour and perceived spousal support) among educated Jewish (n = 59) and Arab-Muslim women (n = 87) from dual-earner families in Israel. Moreover, we compared the types of strategies used to cope with stress resulting from conflicting home-work demands, as well as emotional well-being and its relation to the other variables under study. Data were collected through structured questionnaires in various parts of Israel, from women employed in the education system and in municipalities. Results point to some cultural differences: Jewish women expressed more liberal gender-role attitudes and reported a more egalitarian division of domestic labour. At the same time, both groups of women tended to use the active coping strategy of concerted efforts to reduce role conflict. Moreover, similar patterns were found regarding the variables that account for emotional well-being. The effect of culture is particularly significant with regard to structural characteristics of marital life, such as the division of domestic labour, but less significant with regard to spousal support and to variables that explain various dimensions of well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-477
Number of pages21
JournalCommunity, Work and Family
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2006


  • Coping with role conflict
  • Division of domestic labour
  • Ecological approach
  • Spousal support


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