The Impact of Non-Standard Work Times on Partnership Quality and Stability: Quantitative and Qualitative Findings from the Netherlands

Melinda Mills, University of Groningen
Taht Kadri, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The aim of this paper is to examine whether non-standard work times impact partnership quality and stability. Employment and partnership behaviour are understood via a multi-level theoretical framework that addresses preferences, networks and context. Data is drawn from the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (N=8,161) and in-depth individual interviews from 30 couples. Previous research shows a high correlation between non-standard work times and marital divorce. A quantitative and qualitative approach extends this research to allow a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms and causality in this relationship. Results indicate that the impact of non-standard work times on partnerships is highly related to preferences and the (in)voluntary nature of this work. There is a strong association between particular types of work times with lower partnership quality/stability and inequality within certain social groups. Results also demonstrate several key variations in quantitative and qualitative measures, complex strategies, and deviation from previous U.S. findings.

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Presented in Session 124: Effects of Work Hours on Families and Children