ERIC Number: ED229716
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct
Reference Count: 0
WASPs (Wives As Senior Partners).
Atkinson, Maxine P.; Boles, Jacqueline
For the past decade dual-earner marriages in which wives are junior partners have been a major topic in marriage and family literature. In marriages which consider wives as senior partners (WASPs), however, the wife's career is emphasized. In an effort to study the rewards and costs of WASP marriages and to discover the structural conditions under which this pattern exists, male and female married individuals (N=46) participated in interviews to collect data about age, length of marriage, previous marriages, parental status, income, occupation, and work history. Subjects also responded to open-ended questions regarding reactions from others to their marriage, strategies they used to deal with questions or reactions, and their own reactions to the marriage structure. Results indicated that social stress, the husband's feeling of being deprived of wifely services, and the wife's burden as breadwinner were disadvantages of a WASP marriage. However, the wife's achievement and self-esteem and the husband's lack of responsibility and freedom to pursue other interests were overriding advantages. Structural conditions positively affecting the success of WASP marriages were the flexibility of the husband's job, the wife's nontraditional occupation, and an absence of children. (AG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Role Reversal
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations (Washington, DC, October 13-16, 1982).