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Stress of Unemployed Partner Affects Job Performance of Employed Partner

The stress of an unemployed spouse can affect the productivity and home life of the employed partner. This is what Maw-Der Foo, Associate Professor, University of Colorado, found out. The professor studies workplace issues and interpersonal relationships. One of the important findings in the study was that partners are good at sharing the burden rather than alleviating it. If one feels bad at home, one cannot do well at workplace. However, this does not guarantee that marital support might bring down the stress of the unemployed partner.

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The researchers examined married couples where one partner was employed and the other was not. The stress felt by each spouse was assessed. The couples had to report about their daily distresses to the researchers. The interaction between marital life and professional life of the unemployed spouse and the employed one was examined. Since both the partners responded to the experiment, the researchers could compare them and come to conclusion.

According to Foo, the “crossover effect” was noticed in the study. This is the situation when each partner catches the stress of the other. The study provides practical insight to the relationship counselors, psychotherapist and other relationship expert who aim to prevent relationship breakdown. Another important suggestion made through this study is that the organizations should be more supportive and sensitive to the employees who have unemployed spouses. The study is published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

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