A 2007 study in the USA examined how the work hours, work schedules, and role overload of working - class couples might be related to the occurrence of depressive symptoms and relationship conflict as couples move into becoming parents.
The study interviewed 132 dual-earner couples 5 times across the transition to parenthood.
Statistical analyses revealed that…
- working evening or night shifts, as opposed to day shifts, was related to higher levels of depressive symptoms
- for mothers only, working rotating shifts predicted relationship conflict
- increases in role overload were related to the emergence of both depression and conflict
- but working a non-day shift explained variance in depression and conflict above and beyond the mere effect of role overload.
These results suggest that for new parents, working non-day shifts may be a risk factor for depressive symptoms and relationship conflict. This might be a useful piece of information to keep in mind when working with PREPARE/ENRICH with young couples soon intending to have a child.
Reference: Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Abbie E. Goldberg, Courtney P. Pierce, Aline G. Sayer (2007): Shift Work, Role Overload, and the Transition to Parenthood. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, (1), 123–138.
#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.
For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or support with a couple or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich