Occupational self-direction, values, and egalitarian relationships: A study of dual-earner couples

Mary Maguire Klute, Ann C. Crouter, Aline G. Sayer, Susan M. McHale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This study examines the associations between husbands' and wives' experiences at work and their attitudes about and behaviors in marriage, using a framework informed by the ideas of Kohn (1969, 1977). Specifically, it was hypothesized that experiences of self-direction at work would be associated with greater endorsement of values associated with self-direction. Further, it was predicted that those who value self-direction more would both prefer and adopt more egalitarian arrangements in their marriages. These hypotheses were tested with a sample of 167 dual-earner couples. Results supported the hypotheses and suggested that values mediate the relationships between occupational self-direction and both attitudes about marital roles and the division of household labor. The pattern of results suggests that this framework is a useful perspective for examining the construct of marital equality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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