Dual earners preparing for job loss: Agency, linked lives, and resilience

Stephen Sweet, Phyllis Moen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We draw on a two-wave panel survey and a third wave of in-depth interviews to study how 78 dual-earner couples prepared for job loss and the implications of preparation for resilience. We find personal and social resources predict preparation: those displaced workers who prepared had higher energy and higher incomes prior to job loss and also worked for employers who provided advance notification. Couples' egalitarian career strategies are associated with lower levels of preparation as well as limited options in the face of displacement. Less preparation is associated with less favorable career adjustments following job loss as well as more severe health and emotional challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-70
Number of pages36
JournalWork and Occupations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors declared receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Support was extended through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for the collection and analysis of data with the expressed intent of having this work published in scholarly journals. The Ecology of Careers Study and the Couples Managing Change Study were supported by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


  • dual careers
  • insecurity
  • life course
  • planning
  • risk
  • unemployment


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