Job burnout and couple burnout in dual-earner couples in the sandwiched generation

Ayala Malach Pines, Margaret B. Neal, Leslie B. Hammer, Tamar Icekson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


We use existential theory as a framework to explore the levels of and relationship between job and couple burnout reported by dual-earner couples in the "sandwich generation" (i.e., couples caring both for children and aging parents) in a sample of such couples in Israel and the United States. This comparison enables an examination of the influence of culture (which is rarely addressed in burnout research) and gender (a topic fraught with conflicting results) on both job and couple burnout in this growing yet understudied group of workers who are reaching middle age and starting to face existential issues as part of their own life cycle. Results revealed significant differences in burnout type (job burnout higher than couple burnout); gender (wives more burned out than husbands); and country (Americans more burned out than Israelis). Job related stressors and rewards as well as parent care stressors predicted job burnout, and marital stressors and rewards predicted couple burnout. In addition, there was evidence for both crossover and spillover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-386
Number of pages26
JournalSocial Psychology Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • burnout
  • couple burnout
  • couples
  • generation
  • theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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