Document Type


Publication Date



role change, unemployment, responsibilities

Extension Number

ExEx 14066


Consumer Sciences


John has worked for the same employer for over 15 years. John has always enjoyed working, and his wife, Mary, has always loved being in charge of the family’s ev¬eryday needs. John and Mary are proud of their work ethic and have always looked forward to sharing their heritage with their children. But due to circumstances beyond John’s control, John lost his job, and in order to make ends meet, Mary is now working in town at a local school. Both John and Mary struggle with their new responsibilities. In every family, roles and responsibilities have been established. For example, the mother may be responsible for primary care of the children and household duties, whereas the father is expected to pay the bills and go to work. Although these roles are not formally assigned, it is understood by the family that roles are to be followed. In an economy with business closings and job loss, families often must face role restructuring. Role restructur¬ing is defined as “adding or relinquishing roles as well as changing relationships among role partners” (Ievers 1999).


Update June 2009