The costs and benefits of working with one's spouse: A two-sample examination of spousal support, work-family conflict, and emotional exhaustion in work-linked relationships

  • Halbesleben J
  • Wheeler A
  • Rossi A
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Abstract

Although the prevalence of employees working within the same workplace or occupation with their spouse has increased, relatively little research has examined their experiences. On the basis of the boundary and conservation of resources (COR) theories, we argue that higher levels of work-family role integration among work-linked couples will lead to higher levels of spousal support resources and lower levels of work-family conflict. This will, in turn, lead to lower emotional exhaustion among employees in a work-linked relationship. Among two samples of employees in a variety of occupations, we found that being in a work-linked relationship was associated with both higher spousal instrumental support as well as different forms of work-family conflict. The interaction between spousal support and work-family conflict was associated with emotional exhaustion. We discuss the implications of these findings for boundary and COR theories in terms of movement of resources across work-family boundaries and resource relevance in the strain process. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Burnout
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Social support
  • Work-family conflict

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Authors

  • Jonathon R.B. Halbesleben

  • Anthony R. Wheeler

  • Ana Maria Rossi

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