Coping With Overload and Stress: Men and Women in Dual-Earner Families


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    Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, 710 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6.

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    College of Management and Economics, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1.

  • This article was edited by Cheryl Buehler.

Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street North, London, Ontario, N6A 3K7 (


This study tested gender differences in a model positing relationships between work and family demands, overload, 4 coping mechanisms, and stress. The coping mechanisms were hypothesized to moderate the relationship between overload and stress. The sample consisted of 1,404 men and 1,623 women in dual-earner families. Respondents relied on 2 coping strategies: scaling back and restructuring family roles. Men were more likely than women to respond to overload by scaling back and less likely to respond by work-role restructuring. Coping by family-role restructuring moderated the relationship between role overload and stress for both groups; however, the gender difference was not significant. Coping by work-role restructuring moderated the relationship between overload and stress only for men.