Changes in perceived fairness of division of household labor across parenthood transitions: Whose relationship satisfaction Is impacted?

Nicole Hiekel*, Katya Ivanova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Using a nationally representative, prospective study of young German adults, we address two research questions: First, are changes in the perceptions of the fairness of (un)paid labor division associated with changes in men’s and women’s partnership satisfaction across fertility transitions? Second, is this association moderated by men and women’s pre-birth gender role attitudes? Our results indicate that differences between respondents in changes in relationship satisfaction after fertility transitions could be observed across perceptions of the fairness of the division of labor, rather than across differing actual divisions of household labor. That effect was found for women, but not men. Across gender role attitudes, the perception of a stable fair arrangement was detrimental to traditional men’s relationship satisfaction, whereas the perception of increased fairness protected against declines in relationship satisfaction only for egalitarian women. We discuss how the mismatch between imagined and lived realities might affect relationship dynamics across fertility transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1073
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • CHILD-CARE
  • EQUITY THEORY
  • FAMILY-LIFE
  • GENDER IDEOLOGY
  • HOUSEWORK
  • INEQUALITY
  • MARITAL SATISFACTION
  • OF-LABOR
  • PANEL ANALYSIS
  • PERCEPTIONS
  • dyadic relationship
  • fertility
  • gender and family
  • household labor
  • intimate relationships
  • quality
  • satisfaction

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