Perceived equity with the division of household and marital happiness

Wanda Lynett Brown, Fayetteville State University


This study examined perceptions of equity in fairness of household chores, fairness of child care, and marital happiness. The data were obtained from the National Survey of Families and Households (1987–88). The study was designed to examine perceptions of fairness of respondents with the household division of labor and child care, as well as to assess marital happiness. Significant correlations were found for several demographic variables that included age, gender, and race, that is, older respondents, males, and whites reported greater perceived equity with household chores, while those younger respondents blacks, males, and those with higher levels of education and income reported greater perceived equity with child care. Those with higher levels of education, income, whites and older respondents reported greater marital happiness. Findings also noted that most of the same variables were found to be strong predictors of fairness of household labor (males, higher educated and whites), child care (higher incomes, blacks and males), and happiness (perceived equity or fairness to both spouses). Optimal happiness was best when true equity existed. This study noted several implications for marriage and family theory and research.

Subject Area

Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Brown, Wanda Lynett, "Perceived equity with the division of household and marital happiness" (1998). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI1406421.