Emotion work performance and division in married couples
Hjelmstad, Lyndsey Ryan
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Using data from 99 married couples, this study examines the relationship between emotion work performance and marital satisfaction. In order to test for actor and partner effects simultaneously while controlling for the interdependence of dyadic data, the actor-partner interdependence model (Kenny & Cook, 1999) was used. Path analysis results indicated that emotion work contribution of husbands and wives, as well as their perception of their partners’ emotion work contribution, predicted both partners’ marital satisfaction. Partners’ satisfaction with the division of emotion work within the marriage also emerged as a statistically significant mediating variable. Gender constraints revealed that emotion work appears to be a more salient predictor of wives’ marital satisfaction than husbands’ marital satisfaction. Strengths and limitations of the present study are discussed, and directions for future research are presented.