Role of shared household work influence in marital satisfaction

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Sociology

Document 1

The survey shows that there is a clear cut relationship between taking ownership of responsibilities and commitments among couples and leading harmonious and happy lives in marriage. There is positive satisfaction among women whenever their husbands resolve to share of domestic duties regardless of the common women’s gender-roles perspectives. The study focus on three main factors that it sharing rearing of children, sharing cooking and cleaning duties, and how they influence satisfaction of couples in a marriage setup. Opinions, views and ideologies of the thirty couples were taken keenly into consideration when analyzing the data gathered from the survey and when drawing research conclusions. This study is aimed at being of benefit to couples in marriage, family and marriage counselors, and all interested in sociology. Introduction Balancing domestic work among couples is a challenge. Coming to agreement of the kind of tasks to be handled by one partner and the rest with the other partner is not a walk in the park in marriage institutions. The tussle of dividing household duties often results in dissatisfaction among couple. Marital satisfaction refers to that sense of fulfillment and happiness a spouse feels in regard to their union with their partner encompassing how a spouse feels with relation to that to how the other partner accomplishes their duties (Peleg, 2008). Family and marital experts expounding on the topic conclude that couples who are not satisfied with the distribution of work amongst themselves are most likely to be dissatisfied with their marriages. Different countries and cultures view marriages and division of work differently; for example, while child-rearing duties outsourced in the United States, such responsibilities are rarely outsourced in Japan (Nagase & Brinton, 2017).

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In Japan, most of those duties are performed by family members especially the women. According Japan Institute of Labor Policy and Training statistics 2014, 80. percent of Japan couples prefer family involvement in house duties including cleaning and cooking. Household duties are however burdening to working-class women because they involve working before and after the day’s work. Compulsory work for them will mean reduced time for leisure during off-work hours which has the effect of reducing life satisfaction. In the Dominican Republic, women have more time for housework than paid work because of the norms held in society. Women do the majority of housework because they are the inferior gender (Navarro, 2015). A comparison of cultural backgrounds between DR and USA suggest that while North Americans lack strong attachment to community and family, Dominicans are firmly attached to the family.

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Also, gender equity is fairly practiced in the Dominican Republic which is the exact opposite in the United States. Housework equity in Sweden comes with many benefits including reduced cases of family conflicts and divorce which mitigates upon the economic consequences. Problem Statement According to Nation Master (2011), there were 17,927 divorces that happened in Dominican Republic in 2011. This research ranked the nation thirty-third in divorce rate worldwide. Majority of these divorces are attributed to dissatisfaction in marriages which in most cases is caused by disagreement between spouses on how they should divide domestic labor amongst themselves. Therefore, a need was seen to conduct a research geared towards establishing clear cut boundaries on how couples should share household roles in their journey to experience marital satisfaction. Finds of this study will first be forwarded to policy and decision makers in Dominican Republic as they are crucial especially when drafting policies related to gender equity.

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Another stakeholder who will benefit from this study are family and marriage counselors. The research findings will help counselors during their premarital counseling as they will now focus more on factors that will contribute towards marital satisfaction. Couples on the verge of divorce will also benefit from these research findings as it will provide strategies and possible interventions to redeem their marriages. Additionally, scholars with interest in sociology and marriage will also find this research of essence to them. However, previous studies failed to picture out how shared housework affects martial satisfaction (Baxter & Tai, 2016). Some studies suggest that an equal division of housework enhances marital satisfaction in both husbands and wives (Baxter & Tai, 2016). Others suggest that it is only the wives and not the husbands who acquire marital satisfaction. Marital Satisfaction Studies in the past concentrated on marital quality rather than marital satisfaction.

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Marital quality could be defined as the concept of happiness in marriage with the frequency of shared roles, and actions that threaten marital relationships. Women are paid less than men. However, scholars suggest that today, men are relatively more involved in house labor than in the past. Over that last ten years, the parental leave policy for men has encouraged gender equity, and men are getting more involved in childcare and housework (Meil, 2013). They also suggest that women and men are likely to be happy when housework is equitably shared between them. On the other hand, both women and men are likely to experience unhappiness with increased housework time (Baxter & Tai, 2016). Also, the study also explained that lower satisfaction from housework distribution was the result of disputes (Fankhauser, Holthus & Hundsdorfer, 2018). Many studies have been conducted to evaluate the impact of shared housework on marital satisfaction.

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Most of those studies focused on Japan and the United States. The studies also focused on heterosexual marriages and explained that equal distribution of housework ensures marital satisfaction. However, little studies have been conducted in other geographical areas such as Africa and the Caribbean world. Social Exchange Theory Social Exchange Theory explains that relationships are exchanges aimed at maximizing rewards. The theory proposes that individuals will decide the worth of their relationships after thoughtful consideration of costs and benefits. The theory explains why some relationships last longer than others. Long lasting relationships are the result of rewards such as companion and being cared. A rise in the number of positive exchanges such as equitable housework sharing among couples has the potential of increasing marital satisfaction. Compromising on self-gratification and own convenience at the expense of prioritizing the needs of the other spouse, often leads to satisfaction in marriage.

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Logic Model: What is the Impact of Sharing Household Duties Regarding Comfortable Living in Marriage? Dependent Variable: Marriage Satisfaction The dependent variable, in this case, will be the impact of harmonious living in terms of sharing household duties contributes towards marital satisfaction. The variable will be measured by the level of spouse satisfaction and will be affected by three independent variables. Primary Independent Variable: Sharing Child-rearing The primary independent variable represents the number of spouses affected by the child rearing issues because one spouse fails to take personal responsibility. This variable will be measured by calculating the number of spouses who experienced dissatisfaction in their marriages because their partners failed to participate in rearing their own child. A quick response enables the spouses to plan their household schedules. Hypothesis: Sharing household cleaning duties has a positive perspective in any given marriage.

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In this regard, as the time taken by a spouse to respond to cleaning needs and requests reduces the satisfaction in marriage increases. Independent Variable Three: Sharing Cooking The next independent variable is the sharing of cooking. Marriage satisfaction is influenced by specific and sensitive issues such as food, and spouses are perceived to be reliable when they take shorter durations in the kitchen and assist in kitchen duties. With questionnaires it was possible to gather a wide range of information as they give room to choose the questions to ask and the question format to adopt. Questionnaires allowed collecting information from a vast audience without any limitation of geographical location or culture. Questionnaires are the source of quantitative data therefore it was easy to analyze the data and come up with a visual representation of the same data.

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Online surveys using questionnaires assured anonymity to the respondent thus securing privacy and confidentiality of the responses. Despite these advantages that accompany questionnaires, they still do have their own limitations. Link to the questionnaires was sent either online or via e-mail depending on mode that was convenient to the respondent. Use of questionnaires was preferred over other techniques of gathering data due to its advantages. Firstly, it would enable data gathering from a large number of people and with the advancements in technology the respondents could be reached economically and easily (Bulmer, 2006). Both open ended and closed-ended questions were used in the questionnaires to gather data. Open-end question was used to give room for the respondents to express themselves freely without being tied to any particular answers in their own words, thus respondents were able to answer questions with as much details as they liked.

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Likert scale, to measure the strength of respondents’ attitudes and emotions such as very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, very dissatisfied and unable to answer. Advantages associated with close ended questions include they are economical in that a large amount of data acting as a representative of a big population can be obtained at relatively minimum costs, the information obtained from the respondents is convertible into quantitative data thus making it easier to statistically analyze it, and since the questions used were standardized it was easy to replicate the questionnaire and analyze its reliability. For the response rate of the questionnaire to be high, a number of factors were taken into consideration when designing a questionnaire such as research aims, questionnaire length, pilot study, question order, terminologies used, and questionnaire presentation.

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To start with, all research questions were addressed to the main aim of the research and only a single feature was tackled per research item. The questions on the questionnaire were kept short, clear, and concise so as to reduce the length of the questionnaire. What is your area code? v. Have you ever experienced marital dissatisfaction before? vi. If yes, how satisfied were you with your spouse’s in sharing household duties? vii. If you were in this situation how you would have felt? viii. Explain how you felt ix. This reduced the time respondents needed to give their responses which increased the response rate. The use of questionnaire enabled collection of quantifiable responses to test the hypotheses of the study. Responses from questionnaires were easily pre-coded thus eliminated transcription errors.

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Since data was already in an electronic format, it allowed for easy analysis without the tussle of digitizing the respondents’ data. Any airline that is fond of neglecting household was found to create a mental picture in their partners of unreliability. Another limitation of the study was the collection of data from couples within a small locality. Although the questionnaire tool was distributed through the e-mail, the respondents were often busy in the course of conducting the survey thus compelled to work in accordance to their schedule and convenience. The greatest obstacle encountered was how to make a well-organized and descriptive questionnaire capturing different scenarios about marital satisfaction for the participants in order to understand all the information and questions. This obstacle was solved by asking a few couples to proofread the survey during the pilot study and give feedback about the survey to see if there was anything that they did not understand and subsequently fixed it.

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A number of issues were experienced during the research such as getting incomplete multiple choice responses from participants; this was by deleting the incomplete responses from the survey. O. Inequalities in unpaid work: A cross-national comparison. In Handbook on well-being of working women (pp. Springer, Dordrecht. Brewster, M. European Commission (2014) Tackling the Gender Pay Gap in the European Union. Fankhauser, P. Holthus, B. Hundsdorfer, S. Partnership satisfaction in Germany and Japan: The role of family work distribution and gender ideology. Usui, E. Sharing housework between husbands and wives: how to improve marital satisfaction for working wives in Japan. IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 5(1), 18. Lamanna, M. A. org/questionnaires. html Meil, G. European men’s use of parental leave and their involvement in child care and housework. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 44(5), 557-570.

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Nagase, N. C. Division of labor, gender ideology, and marital satisfaction in East Asia. Journal of Marriage and Family, 78(2), 383-400. Ruppanner, L. Brandén, M. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 11(4), 375-394. Van Hooff, J. H. Rationalizing inequality: heterosexual couples' explanations and justifications for the division of housework along traditionally gendered lines. Journal of gender studies, 20(01), 19-30.

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