ERIC Number: ED208193
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
The Division of Household Labor.
Spitze, Glenna D.; Huber, Joan
A study was conducted to test the following hypotheses concerning division of household labor (DOHL) between husbands and wives: (1) the division of household labor is somewhat affected by the availability of time, especially the wife's time; (2) there are strong effects of relative power, as measured by market-related resources, marital commitment, and decision making; and (3) weak effects are expected for sex-role attitudes, and taste for housework, particularly for the husband's taste. Data from the study comes from a subsample of 1,364 husband-wife units, part of a national probability sample of United States households interviewed in 1978. The available-time hypothesis was tested using spouses' employment status; relative interpersonal power was measured by earnings and education ratios of husbands and wives, by spouses' perceptions of decision making, and by frequency of thoughts of divorce for each person; and sex-role ideologies were measured by husbands' and wives' summated responses to questions about women's and men's work, family roles, and taste for housework. Results showed the following: (1) the wife's time (as measured by employment status) affects the DOHL more than does the husband's; (2) the DOHL relates to relative power only as reflected by the husband's thought of divorce; (3) it relates to sex-role attitudes of the spouse whose perceptions of the DOHL are being measured, and most strongly to the husband's; and (4) it relates to the wife's taste for housework, unless controlled for the wife's employment status. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 1981).