The decreasing number of marriages and increasing number of cohabitation are typical features of the consumer societies; this phenomenon affects the stability of relationships and also the willingness to raise children. This era is also characterized by changes of the gender role expectations. Traditional role expectations toward both genders have been adapting to contemporary conditions and this process often accompanies with an increasing level of gender role stress. In our study we analyzed the connection between the quality of the relationships, their types (marriage or cohabitation), and the gender role stress. Methods: The analysis was conducted on the database of the national representative survey Hungarostudy 2006. We constructed a sub-sample of men aged 18 years and over with spouses (N = 1448). The quality of the relationships was measured by the shortened ver sion of the Marital Stress Scale. The modeling process was stepwise linear regression. Results: high stress, poor quality relationships were more frequent among cohabiting men than among married men. Although subordination to women causes less stress for married men than cohabiting men, other factors of gender role stress do not differ between the two groups. The quality of the relationship is significantly influenced by the subjective assessment of one's financial situation, the type of the relationship, and the level of stress caused by the feeling of intellectual inferiority. Conclusions: Our study proved that the high level of marital stress, which is the indicator of the quality of the relationship and possibly its stability as well, affects cohabiting men more than married men in Hungary. The social expectations produced by the modernization process of gender roles also affect cohabiting men more; they are more sensitive, and react with a higher level of stress to the potential intellectual superiority of women.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health