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Family Work and Relationships: Lessons From Families of Men Whose Jobs Require Travel


*Anisa M. Zvonkovic is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences, 322 Milam Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97330 ( Catherine Richards Solomon is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Quinnipiac University. Áine M. Humble is an Assistant Professor of Family Studies and Gerontology at Mount Saint Vincent University. Margaret Manoogian is an Assistant Professor of Child and Family Studies at Ohio University.


Abstract: This study explores how family members experience their lives when family breadwinners must be absent from home because of their jobs. Informed by general systems theory and contextual perspectives, we described wives’ family work that supports the breadwinner role and maintains the emotional connections among family members. From our findings about how families of commercial fishermen and long-haul truckers manage their time and their paid and unpaid work, we applied their challenges and strategies to other families experiencing difficulties related to time and work involvement.