Dual-career families is a relatively new phenomenon, which became especially widespread during the last several decades. It is important to understand the difference between dual-career couples and families, where both partners are simply employed. In accordance with R. Rapoport and R. N. Rapoport, dual-career family is a family in which “both heads of household pursue careers and at the same time maintain a family life together” (as cited in Hester & Dickerson, 1984). In other words, jobs of both partners require a lot of commitment, responsibility, absolute investment of personal time, energy, etc.
Specialists believe that although it is rather new trend in families, it will continue to develop and the number of dual-career families will constantly grow. Those people, who decide to combine their career devotion together with family life, should be aware about all challenges, which they may face.
At present time it is suggested that the majority of problems in dual-career families occur because of role conflicts. Thus, many partners have various role expectations concerning their partners. In ordinary families, it is a usual practice that someone’s career has more priorities. However, in dual-career couples, there is no place for compromise. Extremely busy and career devoted people try to build their family life without prejudice to their careers.
Although life of dual-career families can be rather difficult and stressful, there are a lot of obvious benefits for all members of such unions. First of all, people in such marriages have a feeling of stability and economic security. This allows dual-career families to avoid many stresses and anxieties. In addition, such families are better socialized and they have a balance in family role division. Finally, dual-career couples serve as a good example for their children, because they show them how to deal effectively with daily tasks, successfully combine professional and family life together.
Hester, S. B., Dickerson, K. G. (1984). Serving Dual-Career Families: Problem Opportunity? Journal of Extension. Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/1984july/a4.php
Mereish, E. H. (2008). An Instrument Development Study of Men’s Planning for Career and Family: Contributions of Parental Attachment and Gender Role Conflict. University of Maryland, College Park. Retrieved from http://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/1903/8196/1/umi-umd-5388.pdf