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The Life Satisfaction of Dual-Earner Mothers and Fathers: Does Flexible Scheduling Matter?


  • Krista Lynn Minnotte

    () (University of North Dakota)

  • Michael C. Minnotte

    (University of North Dakota)

  • Krista Thompson

    (University of North Dakota)


Abstract Work and family scholarship emphasizes flexible scheduling policies as a key solution to the challenges faced by workers navigating the work–family interface. Despite making life easier for workers, very little research has considered how such policies relate to life satisfaction, especially in terms of how gender comes into play. This study examines how both the availability of flexible scheduling options and the actual use of such policies are differentially related to the life satisfaction of dual-earner mothers and fathers. To address this research question, we use data from the National Study of the Changing Workforce conducted in the United States (N = 211 dual-earner fathers and 284 dual-earner mothers). Results show that flexible scheduling availability is unrelated to the life satisfaction of fathers and mothers. In contrast, flexible scheduling use is significantly and positively related to life satisfaction for dual-earner mothers, but negatively related to the life satisfaction of dual-earner fathers. Explanations for these findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Krista Lynn Minnotte & Michael C. Minnotte & Krista Thompson, 2016. "The Life Satisfaction of Dual-Earner Mothers and Fathers: Does Flexible Scheduling Matter?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2365-2388, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:17:y:2016:i:6:d:10.1007_s10902-015-9698-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-015-9698-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
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    7. Krista Minnotte & Michael Minnotte & Jordan Bonstrom, 2015. "Work–Family Conflicts and Marital Satisfaction Among US Workers: Does Stress Amplification Matter?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 21-33, March.
    8. Alfredo Rodríguez-Muñoz & Ana Sanz-Vergel & Evangelia Demerouti & Arnold Bakker, 2014. "Engaged at Work and Happy at Home: A Spillover–Crossover Model," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 271-283, April.
    9. Vivi Bach Pedersen & Suzan Lewis, 2012. "Flexible friends? Flexible working time arrangements, blurred work-life boundaries and friendship," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 26(3), pages 464-480, June.
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    1. repec:spr:ariqol:v:12:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11482-016-9476-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:jhappi:v:20:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10902-018-9958-2 is not listed on IDEAS


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