Couple-Level Work Arrangements, Gender, and Subjective Well-being During Shared Time

Sarah Flood, University of Minnesota
Joanna Pepin, University of Texas at Austin
Katie Genadek , University of Colorado

The rise in dual-earning couples in the United States has generated competing interpretations about the impact on couples’ relationship experiences. We know that dual-earner couples spend slightly less time together and that time with a partner is associated with enhanced well-being. Research also shows that men and women have different interpretations of their relationships. What is unclear is whether well-being benefits of shared time are similar across couples with different work arrangements and by gender. Using data from the American Time Use Surveys (2010, 2012, 2013), we compare individual assessments of happiness, meaning, stress, fatigue, and sadness during activities conducted with their partner and how these experiences vary by key demographic factors: couple-level work arrangements and gender. We go beyond prior work on time availability and relationship satisfaction to document how couple-level work arrangements and interactions with gender contribute to subjective experiences of time spent with a partner.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity