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Divison of Labor, Perceived Fairness, and Marital Quality: The Effect of Gender Ideology

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Abstract

This study assesses the relations between division of household labor, perceived fairness, and marital quality by comparing three ethnic-religious groups in Israel that reflect traditional, transitional, and egalitarian ideologies. The findings, based on structural equation modeling (SEM) methodology, show that sense of fairness mediates the relation between division of labor and marital quality and gender ideology moderates these relations for women but not for men. Perceived fairness is related to the division of labor for women in egalitarian and transitional families but not in traditional ones. For egalitarian women, a more segregated division of labor is linked directly with lower marital quality whereas for women in transitional families it is mediated by sense of fairness. The findings are discussed on two overlapping levels—conceptual-theoretical and sociocultural—with implications for understanding families in cultural transition.

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