Mexican-origin husbands’ work contexts and spouses’ personal well-being and marital quality

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Heather M. Helms, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Relative to other men, Latino immigrant men are disproportionately likely to experience challenging working conditions, including too many or too few hours, discrimination, and job (in)security. Previous research suggests that work contexts (particularly husbands’) may affect interactions between family members, which in turn, spill over into family functioning. The present study examined the patterning of 118 Mexican husbands’ self-reported workplace characteristics (i.e., job security, workplace discrimination, and work hours) and links with husbands’ and wives’ marital warmth and negativity. First, using a 2-step cluster analysis, we identified 3 work context groups: (1) Moderately Secure, Overtime, Minimally Discriminatory Workplaces, (2) Highly Secure, Full-Time, Moderately Discriminatory Workplaces, and (3) Minimally Secure, Full-Time, Highly Discriminatory Workplaces. Second, using mixed-model ANCOVAs, we found (a) a main effect for work context on marital warmth, indicating that husbands in Group 2 reported more marital warmth than husbands in Group 3, and (b) a spouse-by-group interaction showing that whereas Group 2 husbands expressed more warmth relative to their wives, Group 3 husbands expressed less warmth relative to their wives. No significant effects were found for spouses’ marital negativity. Taken together, the same job opportunities that motivate low-wage Mexican-origin workers to migrate to the United States may also strain their close relationships. Researchers and practitioners should address links between work contexts and family well-being in other Latina/o samples and explore in greater depth how work characteristics that would otherwise serve to buffer and protect family functioning may have hidden costs for couple and family functioning.

Additional Information

Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 6 (1), 64 – 68
Language: English
Date: 2018
discrimination, racism, work contexts, marital quality, Mexican-origin couples

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