High levels of job stress may play a significant role in marital discord and could lead to divorce, according to results of a preliminary study.
Drs. Nicole A. Roberts and Robert W. Levenson of the University of California, Berkeley, evaluated the role stress and exhaustion play in marriages and published their findings in the November issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family. In the study, reported on by Reuters Health, 19 male police officers and their wives provided information about themselves and their marriages, then kept diaries of their day-to-day lives for a month.
Analysis revealed that the policemen brought their job stress home with them, where it affected their marital relationships. The findings suggest that "the effects of job stress are more costly and more widespread than those of physical exhaustion," the researchers concluded.
Roberts and Levenson suggest that couples make an extra effort to be attuned to the days when stress levels are highest "so that they can find ways to manage this stress constructively." Ideas include stress management techniques, making an effort to infuse positive emotions into marital conversations and finding ways to talk about job stress rather than avoiding it.
by Todd Nighswonger