Couples' Job Insecurity and Relationship Satisfaction in the Netherlands

Niels Blom, Ellen Verbakel, Gerbert Kraaykamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Objective: The goal of this study is to estimate the effect of one's own and one's partner's job insecurity on relationship satisfaction, with attention to gender and educational differences in these effects. Second, we test whether the effects of individual job insecurity on individual relationship satisfaction depends on partner job insecurity. Background: Research has established that job insecurity is negatively associated with relationship quality at the individual level, but little is known about how partner's job insecurity shapes individual perceptions of relationship quality. Although one's partner's job insecurity is expected to be negatively associated with relationship quality on average, it may be protective in cases in which individual job insecurity is also high. We expand spillover–crossover and family stress models to develop and test hypotheses about the independent and interactive effects of individual and partner job insecurity on relationship quality and further consider potential gender and educational differences in the independent effects of individual and partner job insecurity on individual perceptions of relationship quality. Method: Dutch dyadic longitudinal panel data was used (Dutch Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences panels 2008–2015) composed of 11,536 observations of 3,668 individuals. Random and fixed effects models were estimated to study differences between individuals (random effects) and changes over time within individuals (fixed effects). Results: Men and women were less satisfied with their relationship when they felt more job insecurity, and women were less satisfied when their male partner experienced job insecurity. Men's relationship satisfaction was less strongly related to job insecurity when his partner experienced job insecurity as well. Relationship satisfaction of higher educated men suffered less from job insecurity than that of lower educated men. Conclusion: Job insecurity was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction, and this association was dependent on gender and, among men, on partner's job insecurity and educational attainment. A dyadic and moderation perspective is important for understanding the relationship between employment and relationship quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-891
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Volume82
Issue number3
Early online date4 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 National Council on Family Relations

Keywords

  • couples
  • inequalities
  • job security
  • longitudinal research
  • marital quality
  • relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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