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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Ronald G. Stover


The justification for this study rests on two characteristics of the current role conflict literature. First, the research to date has assumed that conflict between work and family roles is inevitable. It is the position taken here that the role conflict in dual-earner families should be treated as an empirical question, and thus one open to investigation, rather than as merely an assumed result of combining work and family roles. This study provides such an empirical test by investigating the nature of the perceived role conflict reported by dual-income participants. Second, few, if any, empirical studies of role conflict in dual-earner families exist. Most of the research on work and family conflict has focused primarily on case studies of selected groups of professional couples and has not controlled for the degree of role conflict or role strain experienced by other types of families (e.g. dual-earner and single-earner families). This study will not focus solely on the perceived role conflict of such select professional couples but will include a broad range of family types. In sum then, this research will contribute to current knowledge and understanding of the nature of the relationship between work and family role demands by subjecting an assumption about role conflict to empirical investigation, and by broadening the investigation of role conflict to include a broad range of family types. This report will be organized in the following manner. First, a review of the literature relevant to role theory and its application to the field of work and family will be summarized. Second, the methods employed to gather and analyze the data set for this particular research project will be described. Third, the results and findings of the research will be presented. And finally, the report will conclude with a presentation of the summary of findings and a discussion of the results.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dual-career families
Family -- Time management
Role conflict



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University