Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

The Contagion of Stress across Multiple Roles

Niall Bolger, Anita DeLongis, Ronald C. Kessler and Elaine Wethington
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 51, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 175-183
DOI: 10.2307/352378
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352378
Page Count: 9
  • Download ($15.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
The Contagion of Stress across Multiple Roles
Preview not available

Abstract

Previous research on multiple role stress has hypothesized the existence of two types of stress contagion: spillover, in which the stresses experienced in either the work or home domain lead to stresses in the other domain; and crossover, in which the stresses experienced by one's spouse at work lead to stresses for oneself at home. However, empirical evidence of these processes has been largely indirect and qualitative. This study provides the first direct quantitative evidence on the causal dynamics of stress contagion across work and home domains in married couples. Contrary to previous thinking, results indicate that husbands are more likely than their wives to bring their home stresses into the workplace. Also, stress contagion from work to home was evident for both husbands and wives. Furthermore, the contagion of work stress into the home sets in motion a process of dyadic adjustment, whereby individuals, particularly wives, appear to modify their housework efforts to compensate for the work stresses of their spouses. Such findings provide important insights into the dynamics of gender differences in role stress and confirm the value of studying chronic stress processes at the level of analysis where such stresses are inevitably manifest—in day-to-day events and activities.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
175
    175
  • Thumbnail: Page 
176
    176
  • Thumbnail: Page 
177
    177
  • Thumbnail: Page 
178
    178
  • Thumbnail: Page 
179
    179
  • Thumbnail: Page 
180
    180
  • Thumbnail: Page 
181
    181
  • Thumbnail: Page 
182
    182
  • Thumbnail: Page 
183
    183