Time for Each Other: Work and Family Constraints Among Couples

Sarah M. Flood, Katie R. Genadek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Little is known about couples' shared time and how actual time spent together is associated with well-being. In this study, the authors investigated how work and family demands are related to couples' shared time (total and exclusive) and individual well-being (happiness, meaningfulness, and stress) when with one's spouse. They used individual-level data from the 2003-2010 American Time Use Survey (N = 46,883), including the 2010 Well-Being Module. The results indicated that individuals in full-time working dual-earner couples spend similar amounts of time together as individuals in traditional breadwinner-homemaker arrangements on weekdays after accounting for daily work demands. The findings also show that parents share significantly less total and exclusive spousal time together than nonparents, though there is considerable variation among parents by age of the youngest child. Of significance is that individuals experience greater happiness and meaning and less stress during time spent with a spouse opposed to time spent apart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-164
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 National Council on Family Relations.


  • Interaction
  • Paid work
  • Parenthood
  • Time use
  • Well-being


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