Crossover of stress, strain and resources from one spouse to another

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The main focus of the study was the crossover of burnout and of coping resources from husbands to wives and vice versa. The study was carried out on 101 couples, male military officers and their wives, who were randomly selected by the Israel Defense Force computer. They filled out questionnaires that measured their level of burnout, job stress, work support, family support concerning work problems, and their sense of control. Findings reveal that the husbands' sense of control and burnout were positively related to the corresponding variables measured for their wives. To establish the crossover effect, the theoretical model was tested by structural equation analysis (LISREL), which showed a positive effect of wives' burnout on husbands' burnout, after controlling for the husbands' own job stress and coping resources. The husbands' burnout likewise affected their wives' burnout. Thus, a crossover of burnout was exhibited from husbands to wives and vice versa. Furthermore, for both sexes, sense of control had the highest impact on their own burnout and on their spouse's burnout, after controlling for their own job stress and resources. Thus, the spouse's sense of control was found to be an additional resistance resource working to the benefit of the other partner. The relevance of these findings to burnout prevention is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-181
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1995


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