Partnership Satisfaction and Conflict among Czech Couples during the Pandemic-related Employment Insecurity
It can be reasonably assumed that the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on family and interpersonal relationships. Previous research has established that job insecurity and financial hardship lead to reduced relationship quality and a higher incidence of partner conflicts. Our goal is to investigate the dynamics of partnership satisfaction and partnership conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic among Czech couples, focusing on pandemic-related employment change and perceived job insecurity. We use longitudinal panel data from “Czech GGS COVID pilot study”, which was conducted in December 2020, and from a follow-up survey organized in April 2021. Our results show that the immediate effects of economic hardship during the pandemic were not as strong and uniform as we expected. Many families apparently had the resources to bear the economic impacts of COVID-19 in terms of maintaining subjective relationship quality and curbing conflict between spouses. The most important conclusion worth further investigation is the gendered nature of these mechanisms. There are contradictory, gender-specific associations hidden under the weak total effects. This suggests that the perception of family life could be very different for men and women in relation to economic circumstances.
COVID-19 impacts, partnership satisfaction, Gender and Generations Survey, job insecurity, family
Ahuja, Kanika K. and Dhairya Khurana. 2021. “Locked-Down Love: A Study of Intimate Relationships before and After the COVID Lockdown.” Family Relations 70(5): 1343–1357.
Bakker, Arnold B. and Evangelia Demerouti. 2013. “The Spillover-crossover Model.” Pp. 55–70 in New Frontiers in Work and Family Research. Current Issues In Work And Organizational Psychology. New York: Psychology Press.
Balzarini, Rhonda Nicole, Amy Muise et al. 2020. Love in the Time of Covid: Perceived Partner Responsiveness Buffers People from Lower Relationship Quality Associated with Covid-Related Stressors. preprint. PsyArXiv.
Bastianelli, Elena and Daniele Vignoli. 2021. “The Gendered Relationship between (Old and New Forms of) Employment Instability and Union Dissolution.” Population Research and Policy Review 1–28.
Beno, Michal. 2021. “The Impact of Pandemics on Workforce Joblessness in Central Europe in PreCovid Era and during Pandemic.” International Journal of Business and Social Science Research 2(3): 1–6.
Bičáková, Alena and Klára Kalíšková. 2019. “(Un)intended Effects of Parental Leave Policies: Evidence from the Czech Republic.” Labour Economics 61: 101747.
Biddle, N., B. Edwards, M. Gray, and K. Sollis. 2020. “Mental Health and Relationships during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Australian National University. Retrieved January 13, 2022 (https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/docs/2020/7/Mental_health_and_relationships.pdf).
Blom, Niels, Gerbert Kraaykamp, and Ellen Verbakel. 2019. “Current and Expected Economic Hardship and Satisfaction with Family Life in Europe.” Journal of Family Issues 40(1): 3–32.
Blom, Niels, Ellen Verbakel, and Gerbert Kraaykamp. 2020. “Couples’ Job Insecurity and Relationship Satisfaction in the Netherlands.” Journal of Marriage and Family 82(3): 875–891.
Canzi, Elena, Francesca V. Danioni et al. 2021. “Perceived Changes in Family Life during COVID-19: The Role of Family Size.” Family Relations 70(5): 1303–1311.
Carlson, Daniel L., Amanda J.Miller, and Stephanie Rudd.2020. “Division of Housework, Communication, and Couples’ Relationship Satisfaction.” Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World. January 2020.
Cetrulo, Armanda, Dario Guarascio, and Maria Enrica Virgillito. 2021. “The Privilege of Working from Home at the Time of Social Distancing.” Intereconomics 55(3): 142–147.
Cohan, Catherine L. and Steve W. Cole. 2002. “Life Course Transitions and Natural Disaster: Marriage, Birth, and Divorce Following Hurricane Hugo.” Journal of Family Psychology 16(1): 14–25.
ČNB. 2021. “Covid na českém trhu práce [COVID and the Czech Labour Market].” Retrieved January 13, 2022 (https://www.cnb.cz/cs/o_cnb/cnblog/Covid-na-ceskem-trhu-prace/).
ČSÚ. 2021. “Zaměstnanost, nezaměstnanost [Employment and Unemployment].” Retrieved January 13, 2022 (https://www.czso.cz/csu/czso/zam_cr).
Dekker, Sidney W. A. and Wilmar B. Schaufeli. 1995. “The Effects of Job Insecurity on Psychological Health and Withdrawal: A Longitudinal Study.” Australian Psychologist 30(1): 57–63.
England, Paula. 2010. “The Gender Revolution: Uneven and Stalled.” Gender & Society 24(2): 149–166.
EU-LFS. 2021. “European Union Labour Force Survey Data. Version: November 2021.” Retrieved January 13, 2022 (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/microdata/european-union-labour-forcesurvey).
Eurofound. 2021a. “COVID-19: Implications for Employment and Working Life.” Retrieved January 13, 2022 (https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/sites/default/files/ef_publication/field_ef_document/ef20050en.pdf).
Eurofound. 2021b. “Living, Working and COVID-19 Dataset.” Retrieved January 13, 2022 (https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/tr/data/covid-19).
Eurofound. 2021c. “Living, Working and COVID-19 (Update April 2021): Mental Health and Trust Decline across EU as Pandemic Enters another Year.” Retrieved January 13, 2022 (https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/sites/default/files/ef_publication/field_ef_document/ef21064en.pdf).
Eurofound and European Commission Joint Research Centre. 2021. What Just Happened? COVID 19 Lockdowns and Change in the Labour Market. Publications Office.
European Commission. 2021. European Economic Forecast: Autumn 2021. Publications Office.
European Institute for Gender Equality. 2021. Gender Equality Index 2021. Publications Office.
EWCS. 2012. “May Loose Job in Next 6 Months (Job Context) Visualisation: European Bar Chart by: Age, All ages – European Working Conditions Survey 2010.” Retrieved January 13, 2022 (https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/cs/data/european-working-conditions-survey-2010).
EWCS. 2016. “I Might Lose My Job in The Next 6 Months (Prospects) Visualisation: European map by: Age, All, answer Agree – European Working Conditions Survey – Data visualisation.” Retrieved January 13, 2022.(https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/data/european-working-conditions-survey).
Fleming, C. J. Eubanks and Alexis T. Franzese. 2021. “Should I Stay or Should I Go? Evaluating Intimate Relationship Outcomes during the 2020 Pandemic Shutdown.” Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice 10(3): 158–167.
Garrote Sanchez, Daniel, Nicolas Gomez Parra, Caglar Ozden, and Bob Rijkers. 2020. Which Jobs Are Most Vulnerable to COVID-19? What an Analysis of the European Union Reveals. World Bank.
Grzywacz, Joseph G., Dawn S. Carlson, K. Michele Kacmar, and Julie Holliday Wayne. 2007. “A MultiLevel Perspective on the Synergies between Work and Family.” Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 80(4): 559–574.
Hale, Thomas, Noam Angrist et al. 2021. “A Global Panel Database of Pandemic Policies (Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker).” Nature Human Behaviour 5(4): 529–538.
Hamplová, Dana, Jana Klímová Chaloupková, and Renáta Topinková. 2019. “More Money, Less Housework? Relative Resources and Housework in the Czech Republic.” Journal of Family Issues 40(18): 2823–2848.
Hašková, Hana and Christina Klenner. 2010. “Why Did Distinct Types of Dual-Earner Models in Czech, Slovak and East German Societies Develop and Persist?“ Zeitschrift für Familienforschung/ Journal of Family Research 22(3): 266–288.
Hipp, Lena and Mareike Bünning. 2021. “Parenthood as a Driver of Increased Gender Inequality during COVID-19? Exploratory Evidence from Germany.” European Societies 23(1): 658–673.
Hiswåls, Anne-Sofie, Anneli Marttila, Emelie Mälstam, and Gloria Macassa. 2017. “Experiences of Unemployment and Well-Being after Job Loss during Economic Recession: Results of a Qualitative Study in East Central Sweden.” Journal of Public Health Research 6(3): 135–141.
Hubatková, Barbora and Tomáš Doseděl. 2021. “The Expansion of Higher Education and Post-Materialistic Attitudes to Work in Europe: Evidence from the European Values Study.” Sociologický Časopis / Czech Sociological Review 56(6): 767–790.
Hughes, Diane L. and Ellen Galinsky. 1994. “Gender, Job and Family Conditions, and Psychological Symptoms.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 18(2): 251–270.
Chen, Daniel Tzu-Hsuan and Yi-Jen Wang. 2021. “Inequality-Related Health and Social Factors and Their Impact on Well-Being during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings from a National Survey in the UK.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18(3): 1014.
Cheng, Ting, Saija Mauno, and Cynthia Lee. 2014. “The Buffering Effect of Coping Strategies in the Relationship between Job Insecurity and Employee Well-Being.” Economic and Industrial Democracy 35(1): 71–94.
ILO. 2021. “COVID-19 and the World of Work. Seventh Edition.” Retrieved January 13, 2022 (https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/coronavirus/impacts-and-responses/WCMS_767028/lang--en/index.htm).
Kerr, Margaret L., Hannah F. Rasmussen, Kerrie A. Fanning, and Sarah M. Braaten. 2021. “Parenting during COVID-19: A Study of Parents’ Experiences across Gender and Income Levels.” Family Relations 70(5): 1327–1342.
Kinnunen, Ulla, Taru Feldt, Sabine Geurts, and Lea Pulkkinen. 2006. “Types of Work-Family Interface: Well-Being Correlates of Negative and Positive Spillover between Work and Family.” Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 47(2): 149–162.
Klinenberg, Eric. 1999. “Denaturalizing Disaster: A Social Autopsy of the 1995 Chicago Heat Wave.” Theory and Society 28(2): 239–95.
Kreidl, Martin, Anna Šťastná et al. 2021a. Czech Harmonized Generations and Gender Survey-II Pilot. (Version 0.3) [Data set]. Consortium of Masaryk university, Charles university, Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs, and the SC&C survey agency. https://doi.org/10.57865/4W5V-3K95
Kreidl, Martin, Anna Šťastná et al. 2021b. Czech GGS COVID Pilot – a Follow-up study (Version 1.0) [Data set]. Consortium of Masaryk university and Charles university. https://doi.org/10.57865/K867-AH67
Lim, Jeremy and Poh Lin Tan. 2020. “Weathering the Storm: The Effects of Working from Home and Income Loss on Family Relationships during COVID-19.” SSRN Electronic Journal.
Lin, Weipeng, Yiduo Shao, Guiquan Li, Yirong Guo, and Xiaojun Zhan. 2021. “The Psychological Implications of COVID-19 on Employee Job Insecurity and Its Consequences: The Mitigating Role of Organization Adaptive Practices.” Journal of Applied Psychology 106(3): 317–329.
Masten, Ann S. and Frosso Motti-Stefanidi. 2020. “Multisystem Resilience for Children and Youth in Disaster: Reflections in the Context of COVID-19.” Adversity and Resilience Science 1(2): 95–106.
Mauno, Saija, Ting Cheng, and Vivian Lim. 2017. “The Far-Reaching Consequences of Job Insecurity: A Review on Family-Related Outcomes.” Marriage & Family Review 53(8): 717–743.
Möhring, Katja, Elias Naumann et al. 2021. “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Subjective Well-Being: Longitudinal Evidence on Satisfaction with Work and Family.” European Societies 23(sup1): 601–617.
Naderi, Robert and Sabine Diabaté. 2018. “Partnership Conflicts and Dissatisfaction. An Intercultural Comparison between Women with Turkish Origin and Women without Migration Background in Germany.” Nüfusbilim Dergisi 40: 49–82.
Neff, Lisa A., Marci E. J. Gleason, Erin E. Crockett, and Oyku Ciftci. 2021. “Blame the Pandemic: Buffering the Association between Stress and Relationship Quality during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Social Psychological and Personality Science (June 2021).
Neppl, Tricia K., Jennifer M. Senia, and M. Brent Donnellan. 2016. “Effects of Economic Hardship: Testing the Family Stress Model over Time.” Journal of Family Psychology 30(1): 12–21.
Ogan, Matthew A., J. Kale Monk, Jeremy B. Kanter, and Christine M. Proulx. 2021. “Stress, Dyadic Coping, and Relationship Instability during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 38(10): 2944–2964.
Perelli-Harris, Brienna and Sandra Walzenbach. 2020. “How Has the Covid-19 Crisis Impacted Parents Relationships with Their Children?” ESRC Centre for Population Change: Policy Briefing. University of Southampton.
Pietromonaco, Paula R. and Nickola C. Overall. 2021. “Applying Relationship Science to Evaluate How the COVID-19 Pandemic May Impact Couples’ Relationships.” American Psychologist 76(3): 438–450.
Richter, Anne, Katharina Näswall, and Magnus Sverke. 2010. “Job Insecurity and Its Relation to Work—Family Conflict: Mediation with a Longitudinal Data Set.” Economic and Industrial Democracy 31(2): 265–280.
Schmid, Lisa, Jonathan Wörn, Karsten Hank, Barbara Sawatzki, and Sabine Walper. 2021. “Changes in Employment and Relationship Satisfaction in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the German Family Panel.” European Societies 23(sup1): 743–758.
Sok, Jenny, Rob Blomme, and Debbie Tromp. 2014. “Positive and Negative Spillover from Work to Home: The Role of Organizational Culture and Supportive Arrangements: Positive and Negative Spillover from Work to Home.” British Journal of Management 25(3): 456–472.
Trávníčková, Marcela and Martin Kreidl. 2021. “Slábne v ČR mezigenerační přenos rozvodu? [Is There a Declining Trend in the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce?]” Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 57(5): 531–556.
Vigl, Julia, Hannah Strauss, Francesca Talamini, and Marcel Zentner. 2021. “Relationship Satisfaction in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-National Examination of Situational, Dispositional, and Relationship Factors.” Open Science Framework Preprints. Available online: osf.io/b5c8g
Vohlídalová, Marta. 2010. “Kdo podává žádost o rozvod a jaké jsou příčiny rozpadu partnerských vztahů? [Who Files for Divorce and Why Do Relationships Break Up?]” Gender a Výzkum / Gender and Research 11(2): 48–56.
Walsh, Alison R. and Rob Stephenson. 2021. “Positive and Negative Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Relationship Satisfaction in Male Couples.” American Journal of Men’s Health 15(3):155798832110221.
Williamson, Hannah C. 2020. “Early Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Relationship Satisfaction and Attributions.” Psychological Science 31(12):1479–1487.
Williamson, Hannah. C., Y. Zheng, and L. A. Neff. 2021. “Blame the Pandemic: Stress Spillover in the Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” National Council on Family Relations. Retrieved January 13, 2022 (https://www.ncfr.org/ncfr-report/summer-2021/blame-pandemic-stressspillover-recovery).
Wilson, Jenna M., Jerin Lee, Holly N. Fitzgerald, Benjamin Oosterhoff, Bariş Sevi, and Natalie J. Shook. 2020. “Job Insecurity and Financial Concern During the COVID-19 Pandemic Are Associated With Worse Mental Health.” Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine 62(9): 686–691.
Zacher, Hannes and Cort W. Rudolph. 2021. “Individual Differences and Changes in Subjective Wellbeing during the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” American Psychologist 76(1): 50–62.
Zoch, Gundula, Ann-Christin Bächmann, and Basha Vicari. 2021. “Reduced Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic – The Role of Working Conditions.” Gender, Work & Organization (December 2021).
Železná, Lada and Martin Kreidl. 2016. “Mobilita mezi zaměstnaností a nezaměstnaností u starších pracovníků v ČR [Transitions between Employment and Unemployment among Older Workers in the Czech Republic].” Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 52(4): 505–533.
Tato práce je licencována pod Mezinárodní licencí Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 .
Copyright (c) 2022 Tomáš Zvoníček, Martin Kreidl, Petr Fučík