Stress, satisfaction and role conflict in dual-doctor partnerships



Swanson V & Power KG (1999) Stress, satisfaction and role conflict in dual-doctor partnerships. Community Work and Family, 2 (1), pp. 67-88.

Stress in doctors has major implications for themselves, their family and patients. In dual-doctor partnerships, stress may or may not be compounded. Previous studies have suggested that demands of work have a greater impact on home life than vice versa, and that there may be a gender difference in stress between work and home. This study compared perceived stress, satisfaction and conflict for professional males and females working in dual-doctor partnerships investigating the bi-directional relationship between work and home roles. A sample of 244 male and female doctors in dual-career partnerships working in the National Health Service in Scotland completed a self-report questionnaire. Male doctors perceived their work as more stressful and less satisfying than females. Work stress had a greater impact on home life than vice versa, but there were no gender differences in levels of stress from work to home (WH) or home to work (HW). However, more males than females, particularly younger males, reported that work was a source of conflict with their partner. WH stress predicted marital conflict for both male and female doctors, whereas HW stress predicted marital conflict only for females. Time on call out of hours, the ethical commitment to medicine, and work encroaching into family time were identified as major sources of conflict. These findings have implications both for the well-being of doctors and their families, and for patient care, and for other professionals in dual-career partnerships.

Dual-careers; doctors; gender differences; work/home stress; work/home satisfaction

Community Work and Family: Volume 2, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/1999
PublisherTaylor and Francis

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Professor Vivien Swanson

Professor Vivien Swanson

Professor, Psychology