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Dual-Career Families


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Overview of dual-career families and their implications for career couselors.

Dual-Career Families

  1. 1. Dual-Careers: Implications for Career Counselors By: Paul Crolley
  2. 2. Definitions <ul><li>Dual-Career Families: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“…families in which both partners work” (Jordan, Cobb, & McCully, 1989) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Traditional-Career Families: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only one of the partners (typically the husband) works while the other (typically the wife) stays at home as a home-maker </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What is the difference between dual-career families , a two-person career , and two-job families ?
  4. 4. <ul><li>Dual-Career Family : </li></ul><ul><li> Both partners focus intently on their respective careers </li></ul><ul><li>Two-Person Career Family : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both partners focus their efforts into the career of one of the partners (usually the husband) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Two-Job Family : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One partner (typically the husband) who pursues a career, while the other (usually the wife) has a job that is secondary and serves to support the career of the partner </li></ul></ul>Cherpas, 1985
  5. 5. Dual-Career Families <ul><li>The Family as a System </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Our different family members’ work roles and attitudes influence our perceptions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Marital Satisfaction </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communication and work-view congruence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Cultural Considerations </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There are influencing factors and considerations unique to each person </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Issues facing Dual-Career Families </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expectations, role conflicts, child care options, & relationship factors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Implications for counseling </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Important issues for clinical application, such as referrals to couples counseling </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Family as a System <ul><li>Any system, whether a corporation, a city government, or a family, comprises interdependent elements that have interrelated functions and share common goals </li></ul>Zunker, 2006
  7. 7. <ul><li>The family system is embedded in larger social systems </li></ul>Zunker, 2006
  8. 8. Current Trends <ul><li>More single adults </li></ul><ul><li>Postponement of marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer children </li></ul><ul><li>More women working </li></ul><ul><li>More divorce </li></ul><ul><li>More single-parent families </li></ul><ul><li>More remarriages </li></ul><ul><li>The question to consider with these trends is: How will they affect the perceptions of life roles (like work)? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Interesting observations <ul><li>Fathers involved in dual-career families are less prone to exhibit stereotypic behaviors (providing children with more positive parenting roles) </li></ul><ul><li>Children who observe their mother as economically independent, with choices and opportunities, can gain a perception of what women can do and achieve </li></ul>Zunker, 2006
  10. 10. Marital Satisfaction <ul><li>The level of marital satisfaction can be correlated to how well the partners are in agreement with their respective aspirations and attitudes </li></ul>
  11. 11. Marital Satisfaction <ul><li>The way conflicts are expressed and negotiated and the manner in which resources are shared appear to be strong binding forces </li></ul><ul><li>Couples who have more traditional sex role attitudes tend to experience greater stress in a dual-career marriage </li></ul>Zunker, 2006
  12. 12. Level of overall marital satisfaction High Low Start of marriage Birth of first child Adolescence of children Launching of children Retirement from work SOURCE: From Human development: A lifespan view , 3 rd ed., by R.V. Kail/Cavanaugh, 2004.
  13. 13. Cultural Considerations <ul><li>As with any type of counseling practice, practitioners should take into consideration each client’s cultural values and traditions </li></ul>
  14. 14. Cultural Considerations <ul><li>Individualistic v. collectivist cultures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In collectivist societies (Africans, Asians, and Hispanics) it is expected that all family members contributes to its welfare -> individual aspirations are secondary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Asian and Hispanic families, husbands typically are head of the family and the family usually maintains strong traditional roles, including stereotypical male-female relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing career counseling approaches that include family and family needs are often most effective </li></ul></ul>Zunker, 2006
  15. 15. The following can serve as a check list when evaluating potential conflicts with members of culturally diverse families: <ul><li>Effects of poverty (poor housing, lack of transportation, and health care) </li></ul><ul><li>Country of origin (language barrier, work role perceptions, & view of government) </li></ul><ul><li>Circumstances if immigration (political oppression and lack of trust for gov. agencies) </li></ul><ul><li>Degree of acculturation (worldviews, conflicting messages of appropriate behavior, and perception of work role) </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual beliefs (family roles, health care issues, and social activities) </li></ul><ul><li>Skin color (discrimination and exclusion from some work roles) </li></ul><ul><li>Poor self-esteem (depression, restriction of job choice, and interpersonal relationships) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of trust of institutions (resist using agencies for assistance) </li></ul><ul><li>English fluency (restricted job choice and limited personal contacts) </li></ul><ul><li>Intergenerational family contacts (conflicts over parents’ view of appropriate behavior and contemporary views of the host country) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of support in community (isolation and restricted community involvement) </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination (feelings of oppression, isolation, and restricted career choice) </li></ul><ul><li>Socioeconomic status (exclusion of opportunities in life, work, and leisure) </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of powerlessness (lack of direction and difficulty adjusting to new environment) </li></ul>Goldberg and Goldberg, 2002
  16. 16. Issues Facing Dual-Career Families <ul><li>Expectations and Intentions of Work and Family </li></ul><ul><li>Role Conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Child Care </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship factors </li></ul><ul><li>Other personal factors </li></ul>
  17. 17. Expectations and Intentions of Work and Family <ul><li>In a study of university students, Gilbert (1993) found that young women and men reared in dual-career families were highly committed to a role-sharing marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Roles can include employment, home, social, and family responsibilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of agreement between expectations of roles in marriages has the potential to create interpersonal conflicts (Silberstein, 1992; Goldenberg and Goldenberg, 2002) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Role overload typically occurs between spouses when family roles are not clearly defined </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If the husband’s occupational role is assumed to be primary, or if the wife views the husband’s employment as a less important career, there is a greater potential for minimal sharing of household work </li></ul></ul>Zunker, 2006
  18. 18. Role Conflicts <ul><li>Generally is between family roles and work roles (family roles are source of most role conflicts [i.e., with household chores]) </li></ul><ul><li>Klinger (1988) developed a model designed to delegate household tasks based on interests, aptitudes, and time available </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part I – Formulate list of household tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part II – Agree on frequency of the tasks (daily, biweekly, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part III – Agree on person(s) responsible for each task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Taking into consideration each person’s available time, interest, and abilities (undesired tasks are rotated) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part IV – Review of tasks to determine the following: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A. Did the person(s) designated perform the task? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>B. Was the task viewed as satisfactorily completed? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>C. For “no” responses to questions A or B, what were the obstacles to completing the task? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>D. What additional resources (time, money, people, objects) are needed to complete the task successfully? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part V – Recycle: add or delete tasks, change person(s) responsible, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Child Care <ul><li>Since both partners are working, couples with children need to explore child care options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Options include: sitters, daycare, & relatives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A major concern many parents have are the potential negative effects on children who attend day care centers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clark-Stewart’s (1993) research indicates no difference in cognitive, linguistic, and social development in infants between day care and home settings </li></ul></ul>Zunker, 2006
  20. 20. Child Care <ul><li>Many companies recognize the need to provide for child care and offer alternatives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergency Care (temporary care when regular arrangements fall through) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discounts (arrangements with providers for reduced rates) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-site day care </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Companies have also developed family-oriented work policies designed to help dual-career families with child care responsibilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Telephone access (permits parents to make/take personal calls to children) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parental leave (i.e., maternity leave) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible work arrangements (part-time hours, job sharing, flexible place [telecommuting]) </li></ul></ul>Zunker, 2006
  21. 21. Relationship Factors Zunker, 2006 <ul><li>A pivotal point in some dual-career families is a geographical relocation to enhance of the partner’s career </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What kind of things go through your mind at the prospect of moving to another city in this situation? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Competition can also be associated due to a need to achieve and be recognized </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Important to consider because feelings of competition might not be expressed directly but could result in debates about other things </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Another key aspect in the decision-making process – more specifically, who is empowered to make decisions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Its important to reach mutual agreement no both major and minor decisions to avoid one of the partners feeling treated unjustly </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Relationship Factors <ul><li>Accommodators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One partner’s career involvement is the highest priority and home involvement is the lowest; the other partner has the opposite commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional-career families </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Adversaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both parties give highest commitment to career pursuits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This type usually leads to competition to achieve and conflicts over child care </li></ul></ul></ul>Zunker, 2006
  23. 23. Relationship Factors <ul><li>Allies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both partners are strongly committed to advancing their careers and home roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Satisfaction and fulfillment primarily comes from a happy family and home life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But primary focus is on the career, which can lead to not having children (or having fewer) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Acrobats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both partners are also actively committed to career and home roles – are more successful at it (they want it all and go all out to become high achievers, have happy children, attend social events, and go to prestigious places for vacations) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They work in harmony to achieve their goals but are not surprisingly subject to work overload </li></ul></ul></ul>Zunker, 2006
  24. 24. Other Personal Factors <ul><li>The need to dominate is a personality factor that influences how partners combine occupational and family roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically, a dominating partner expects the other to take a secondary role in career aspirations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The stages of career development of both partners are also important considerations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex., one partner might have reached the point where career has become secondary in life’s priorities, and, as a result, might not support the other partner’s career advancement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other personal factors could make one partner resist accepting nontraditional roles to provide time for the other partner’s career efforts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Little support is offered in way of role sharing </li></ul></ul>Zunker, 2006
  25. 25. Implications for Career Counseling <ul><li>One major problem is gender equity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subtleties of male dominance often present in dual-career marriages often lead couples to deal with anxiety indirectly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women might be searching for equity, while men fear giving up power </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Major decision points are crucial in any marriage, but even more so with dual-careers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex., when (or if) to have children, or as mentioned before, relocating for a position </li></ul></ul>Zunker, 2006
  26. 26. Couples Counseling <ul><li>In many cases, intervention strategies should include collaboration with couples counseling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In conjunction with couples counseling, the career counselor can provide: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role-sharing strategies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leisure time commitments, including family leisure time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Restatement of career goals (centering on plans for the future) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Career development of children as a sharing venture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reformulation of lifespan goals </li></ul></ul></ul>Zunker, 2006
  27. 27. Summary <ul><li>About 12% of married women with children under age 6 worked outside the home in 1950; the figure increased by the early 1990s to 57% and to 62% in 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Dual-career families is a growing trend in our society and as practitioners we need to be mindful of the factors, values, and attitudes influencing clients seeking our assistance </li></ul>