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The Division of Household Labor and Wives' Happiness: Ideology, Employment, and Perceptions of Support

Darlene L. Piña and Vern L. Bengtson
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 55, No. 4 (Nov., 1993), pp. 901-912
DOI: 10.2307/352771
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352771
Page Count: 12
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The Division of Household Labor and Wives' Happiness: Ideology, Employment, and Perceptions of Support
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Abstract

Insights from feminist family research were used to develop a theory specifying a wife's perception of support from her husband as the mechanism linking more equal divisions of housework with greater happiness. Results from a study of 287 married women indicate that egalitarian and fulltime employed wives perceived less support from their husbands when domestic labor arrangements were more unequal. The wives who perceived less support in turn experienced lower marital and personal happiness compared to wives with more equal household labor arrangements. Trends suggest that the relationship between unequal division of labor and perceived support did not hold for traditional and non-fulltime employed wives, who also did not suffer in terms of lowered happiness.

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