Discrepancy in the Division of Labor and Women’s Well-Being across Union Type

Amanda J. Miller, University of Indianapolis

Discrepancies between the sexual division of labor in romantic unions and gender ideology have negative consequences for women’s psychological well-being, however, most research on this topic is limited almost exclusively to married women. Therefore, we use Waves 1 and 2 of the National Survey of Families and Households (N = 3,089) to investigate how discrepancies affect women’s psychological well-being and whether this differs across union type. We examine this process among second surge cohabitors for whom the link between gender ideology and the sexual division of labor was likely especially salient. As expected, results indicated that discrepancies were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms among women. Yet, we found that these discrepancies generally matter for cohabiting women’s well-being only. We interpret these findings and their implications for women’s well-being in light of the deinstitutionalization of marriage and rise in cohabitation over the last 40 years.

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Presented in Poster Session 5