Past Patterns of Work Hours and Work-Family Spillover in Dual-Earner Couples

Joy Pixley, University of California, Irvine

This paper expands the research linking work hours to work-family spillover by taking a life-course approach and using couple-level data. I use two studies of dual-earner couples, the Cornell Couples and Careers Study (n = 729 couples) and the Cornell Community Study (n = 379 couples). These studies provide retrospective job history data from both partners. A new technique, the interpolated curve approach, is used to represent and compare respondents’ prior work hour histories, producing empirically-derived clusters of work hour patterns. Regression analyses indicate that these work hour patterns help to explain current work-family conflict, net of current characteristics, although the effects are much weaker for men than for women. I will also compare work hour patterns of partners within couples (results forthcoming).

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Presented in Poster Session 3