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Dual-Earner Couples in the Sandwiched Generation: Effects of Coping Strategies Over Time
The Psychologist-Manager Journal (2009)
  • Margaret Neal, Portland State University
  • Leslie B. Hammer, Portland State University
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of work and family coping strategies used by dual-earner couples caring both for children and for aging parents on well-being over time among a national sample of 234 couples (468 individuals). Specifically, the effects of three types of coping strategies—those that decrease social involvement (behavioral), those that increase emotional resources (emotional), and those that involve increased prioritizing (cognitive)—were examined over a two-year period on sandwiched-generation husbands' and wives' life satisfaction, depression, affect balance, work-family conflict, and positive work-family spillover. These coping strategies were based on a model that was theoretically and empirically derived by Neal and Hammer (2007). In terms of “what works and what doesn't work” for sandwiched-generation couples over time, in general, coping strategies that increase emotional resources and coping strategies that involve prioritization have beneficial effects on well-being, whereas those coping strategies that involve social withdrawal have negative effects on well-being. This study contributes to knowledge of the work-family interface by testing a new model of work-family coping strategies using longitudinal data from both members of sandwiched-generation couples. Furthermore, while coping strategies do not take the place of the critical need for organizational and management workplace work-family supports, this study provides prescriptive information that individuals can use to better manage work and family more generally.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Margaret Neal and Leslie B. Hammer. "Dual-Earner Couples in the Sandwiched Generation: Effects of Coping Strategies Over Time" The Psychologist-Manager Journal Vol. 12 Iss. 4 (2009)
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