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Life Difficult for Middle-Class with Children

Middle-class working couples struggle to achieve a lifestyle they are happy with or desire. The reason, according to sociologist Phyllis Moen is that the working couples must compete in job environments designed for single earners with no family responsibilities.

Moen, McKnight Presidential Chair in Sociology at the University of Minnesota, says that couples still are operating under outdated work policies and practices and institutional and organizational rules designed for a one earner, one homemaker model.

“Middle class couples are stretched thin in terms of time by “work-friendly” jobs,” said Moen. “In part this reflects the realities of a global information economy with its speed-ups, pressures to increase productivity, 24-7 availability by computer, downsizing insecurities, expectations of long hours and little schedule flexibility.”

In her paper, Moen describes evidence that middle class dual-earner couples, who appear advantaged given their education and resources, are nevertheless stretched thin. In fact, fewer than one in six qualify as “super couples” (those where both husband and wife have a high quality of life). And those who fit this category tend to be couples with no children.

In about half of the 1,060 couples she studied, Moen found that both the husbands and wives reported either low quality of life or only adequate — what she calls “good enough” — quality of life. Women working in job environments that are insecure or offer them little scheduling flexibility and control are unlikely to have individual or couple life quality.

Source: University of Minnesota

Life Difficult for Middle-Class with Children

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Life Difficult for Middle-Class with Children. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/08/11/life-difficult-for-middle-class-with-children/177.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.