A multinational study has just come out which evaluates the stress levels of dual earner families. The starting point for it is the worry that if multiple roles (e.g. carer and breadwinner) cause stress, perhaps states should not be trying to facilitate this. (In my experience, this is a relatively popular student criticism of feminist proposals.) The study shows, however, that the potential stress caused by multiple roles is mitigated by the support offered by supportive states (as in Scandinavia). I haven’t had time to read this in detail because I really should be writing lectures. (Thanks, K!)
Our evaluations do not lend evidence to hypotheses predicting
higher stress and role conflicts in countries where family policy design offers
extensive support to dual-earner families. Findings are more in line with
institutionalist ideas on work-family reconciliation, indicating that family policy institutions supportive of dual-earner families counterbalance stress emanating from multiple roles.