When spouses contribute at home: the impact of spouse dependent care on role overload and stress in dual-earner couples. By: Halinski, Michael and Duxbury, Linda. 2024. Community, Work & Family. Vol. 27 Issue 1, p35-53.

Despite the growing number of studies addressing the work-life experiences of dual-earner couples, little is known about how perceptions of a spouse’s contributions at home may affect their partner’s overload and stress. Drawing on role theory and gender role theory, we argue that spouses’ contributions at home (operationalized as the provision of childcare and/or eldercare) can be considered to be a key work-life resource that facilitates employees’ ability to manage their work and life demands, resulting in lesswork-role overload, family-role overload, and stress. Using a sample of 2288 men and 4403 women in dualearner couples, we find that spouse hours in dependent care negatively relates to family-role overload for women and positively relates to family-role overload for men. Results also indicate that, for women, spouse hours in dependent care indirectly relates to stress via family-role overload and work-role overload.