Spouses’ Gender Role Attitudes, Wives’ Employment Status, and Mexican-Origin Husbands’ Marital Satisfaction

Abstract

Informed by Peplau’s theory of roles, this study examined the complex interplay between spouses’ gender role attitudes and
wives’ employment status as a predictor of Mexican-origin husbands’ marital satisfaction. Dissonance between spouses’ gender
role attitudes toward marital roles and wives’ employment status within couples was hypothesized to be inversely related to
husbands’ marital satisfaction. Data were gathered during in-home interviews with 120 Mexican-origin couples living in North
Carolina. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses identified a three-way interaction between wives’ employment and spouses’
gender role attitudes, indicating that in couples with nonemployed wives, wives’ more sex-typed gender role attitudes were
more negatively associated with the marital satisfaction of husbands with more sex-typed attitudes than husbands with less
sex-typed attitudes. Specifically, the three-way interaction showed that for couples with nonemployed wives, husbands’ marital
satisfaction was lowest in marital contexts in which both spouses endorsed more sex-typed gender role attitudes.

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