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Adaptive Strategies, Gender Ideology, and Work-Family Balance Among Dutch Dual Earners

Authors

  • Hilde H. Wierda-Boer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Radboud University Nijmegen
      Behavioural Science Institute, IOWO, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O.Box 9104, NL-6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to Hilde H. Wierda-Boer, IOWA, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 6540, NL-6503 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands (h.wierda-boer@iowo.ru.nl).
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  • Jan R.M. Gerris,

    1. Radboud University Nijmegen
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  • Ad A. Vermulst

    1. Radboud University Nijmegen
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Behavioural Science Institute, IOWO, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O.Box 9104, NL-6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to Hilde H. Wierda-Boer, IOWA, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 6540, NL-6503 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands (h.wierda-boer@iowo.ru.nl).

Abstract

Using questionnaire data on 149 Dutch dual-earner couples with young children participating in the European Famwork study, we examine how adaptive strategies and gender ideology relate to parents’ perceived success in balancing work and family. Path analysis indicates that some adaptive strategies may harm individuals’ work-family balance, particularly when they are made in the domain where the time budget is limited. In the need to succeed in multiple roles, however, endorsement of traits traditionally linked with the opposite gender, that is masculine traits for women and feminine traits for men, seems beneficial. We speculate that two underlying mechanisms — social pressure and time constraints — jointly operate in determining perceived success in balancing work and family.

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