“Out Of The Way People…I Want Stuff!”: How Materialism Affects The Work-Family Conflict & Marital Satisfaction
The more materialistic individuals are, the more likely they are to view their family as an obstacle to work. This is the finding of a study published online on 8th April 2010, in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.
Mark Promislo from Temple University, Philadelphia, USA and colleagues John Deckop, Robert Giacalone and Carole Jurkiewicz, carried out the study to investigate to what extent a person’s materialistic values were linked to their experience of work-family conflict. Mark Promislo said: “Needs associated with materialistic values are far more likely to be attained through work, so it is possible that people who place a high value on income and material possessions feel that the family demands get in the way of their work time.”
A total of 274 people replied to a questionnaire which asked to what extent their work demands interfered with their family responsibilities, and to what extent their family demands interfered with their work. They were also asked to complete a questionnaire that assessed how materialistic they were.
Materialism was significantly associated with the measures of family interference with work, and also their experience of work-overload – the perception of having too many things to do and not enough time to do them.
Mark Promislo continued: “Highly materialistic people pour their efforts into work as this produces tangible materialistic rewards – money and possessions. They therefore see any obstacle to work -including their family, as disruptive. This finding adds ‘work-family conflict’ to the already long list of the negative effects of materialistic values on personal well-being.”
Materialism is also related to Marital Dissatisfaction
While there has been a relatively large number of studies conducted to investigate associations between financial problems and marital outcomes, little research has been done to examine possible relationships between materialistic attitudes, perceived financial problems, and marital outcomes.
A 2005 study by Lukas Dean of Brigham Young University was designed to examine a conceptual model linking materialism, perceived financial problems, and relationship satisfaction among married couples.
Data was obtained from 600 married heterosexual couples who took the RELATE test; a multidimensional couple assessment instrument that contains 271 questions that are designed to measure respondents’ perceptions about themselves and their partners in four main contexts of premarital and marital relationships.
His findings indicate that wives’ materialism is negatively related to husbands’ marital satisfaction. Husbands’ and wives’ materialism is positively related with increased perception of financial problems which is in turn negatively associated with marital satisfaction. As expected, income was positively related to marital satisfaction, however, income had no relation to perception of financial problems. Materialism had a stronger impact on perception of financial problems than income.
Distinct gender findings indicate that although husbands’ variables had no significant relation with wives’ outcomes, wives’ variables were significantly related to husbands’ outcomes. Specifically, wives’ materialism is positively related with husbands’ increased perception of financial problems, and wives’ perceived financial problems is negatively associated with husbands’ marital satisfaction.
These findings support the notion that materialism is indirectly related to marital satisfaction, and in some ways directly related to marital satisfaction.
Both these studies add to a growing body of work which demonstrates the negative psychosocial impacts of materialism.
British Psychological Society
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April 12, 2010 Posted by peterhbrown | anxiety, Books, Health Psychology, Marriage, Parenting, research, Social Psychology, Spirituality | book, Brigham Young University, Family, financial.stress, marital satisfaction, Marriage, Materialism, money, Philadelphia, research, stuff, Temple University, United States, work, work-family conflict | 1 Comment
Peter Brown BHMS (Hons) MPsychClin MAPS
I’m a Clinical Psychologist and have a private practice and consultancy in Brisbane Australia. I have 20 years experience in child, adult and family psychology. I have a wonderful wife and three kids.
I am co-founder of Christian Wholeness Counselling Services.
I like researching issues of the brain & mind, reading and seeking out new books and resources for myself and my clients. I thought that others might be interested in some of what I have found also, hence this blog…
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