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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Work-Life Balance

Time spent in housework and leisure: Links with parents' physiological recovery from work.
Saxbe, Darby E.; Repetti, Rena L.; Graesch, Anthony P.
Journal of Family Psychology, Vol 25(2), Apr 2011, 271-281. doi: 10.1037/a0023048

1. Spouses' balancing of housework and leisure activities at home may affect their recovery from work. This paper reports on a study of everyday family life in which 30 dual-earner couples were tracked around their homes by researchers who recorded their locations and activities every 10 min. For women, the most frequently pursued activities at home were housework, communication, and leisure; husbands spent the most time in leisure activities, followed by communication and housework. Spouses differed in their total time at home and their proportion of time devoted to leisure and housework activities, with wives observed more often in housework and husbands observed more often in leisure activities. Both wives and husbands who devoted more time to housework had higher levels of evening cortisol and weaker afternoon-to-evening recovery. For wives, husbands' increased housework time also predicted stronger evening cortisol recovery. When both spouses' activities were entered in the same model, leisure predicted husbands' evening cortisol, such that husbands who apportioned more time to leisure, and whose wives apportioned less time to leisure, showed stronger after-work recovery. These results suggest that the division of labor within couples may have implications for physical health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)