In recent times, accompanying the rising cost of houses and raising children, there has been an increase in the number of dual earning couples. While this may relieve financial pressure, juggling job and family demands may increase stress levels and fatigue.
It’s plausible that fatigue and stress are not only caused by the job and family demands placed on the individual, but also a “crossover” effect where fatigue and stress is also influenced by the demands experienced by partners.
Researchers investigated the crossover of fatigue between partners, accounting for the impact of each partner’s work and family demands. They also interpreted how these effects and influences differ according to gender.
The study was conducted in Tokyo and involved dual-earning couples with at least one child aged six years or younger. Each partner answered identical questionnaires. Measures included job demands, family demands and fatigue.
The results showed that husbands’ fatigue had an effect on their wives’ fatigue, but the opposite situation – that is, a wife’s fatigue affecting her husband’s – wasn’t found to be true in this study. When it came to job and family demands, the effect of a wife’s job demands on her husband was found to be significant, whereas the opposite was not observed.
The crossover influence between husbands’ and wives’ stress, fatigue, job and family demands identified in this study sheds light on the extent to which partners’ individual stress and fatigue can affect their family. It also highlights the gender differences in response to these types of feelings and situations.
Improving stress levels and general wellbeing is essential not only for you, but also for those around you. It’s important to support one another and be open and honest about how the highs and lows of job and family demands are affecting oneself and the family.