A new research study reported in the Journal of Applied Psychology claims that the stress of an unemployed spouse could affect the other's job productivity and their home life.
The study 'Unraveling the Stress Crossover Between the Unemployed and Their Spouses,' was looking at employee workplace issues that included interpersonal relationships. The co-authors of the study, Associate Professor Maw-Der Foo of University of Colorado Boulder's School of Business and Zhaoli Song of the National University of Singapore commented that their belief that support from the employed partner would help in dealing with the stress did not happen in reality. They especially looked at what is called the crossover effect, when each spouse transmits and catches the stresses of the other.
"We looked at the unemployed person's activities and their distress, but we also looked at the work experience of the employed person and how that also spills over to the family relationship," Foo said.
The researchers recommend that organizations be more sympathetic and adopt family-friendly policies like†offering couple-counseling†to help their employees in this situation, although they do admit that with the world economy on a downturn, this may not be feasible.