Communication and the division of labor about household tasks : perceived strategies used to negotiate tasks in the Mexican household
The purpose of the study was to examine: (a) the influence communication strategies Mexican men and women reported using when negotiating household work with their partners; (b) the influence communication strategies perceived their partners use when negotiating with them; (c) whether spouses considered the reported strategies as being effective to make their partners do what they need/want, and (d) whether spouses perceived the influence communication strategies used by their partners effective. This dissertation consisted of two inter-related studies performed in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México. The first study was an interview project, where 24 males and females were questioned about how they influence and are influenced by their partners in regard to participating in household tasks. The population consisted of married dual-income Mexicans with at least one child. The second study used the results of Study I to probe, via questionnaire, how couples influence and are influenced by their partners in regard to participating in household tasks, the relative reported frequency of use of the different strategies, and their perceived effectiveness when using them. 92 couples participated in this study: 46 males and 46 females who live in a double-income marriage. Mexican couples perceived equity about how the household tasks are distributed within their homes. Moreover, the degree of happiness about the contribution each partner makes to the household is high, and participants reported being very satisfied with their relationship. The influence communication strategy men and women reported using most often to make their partners participate in household tasks, and the one they perceive their partners used most often is positive affect. The reported strategies that are rarely or never used or perceived are: humor, sarcasm, ignore, and threat. Positive affect was perceived by husbands and wives to be the most effective influence, while the least effective was threat and ignore. The most significant correlation between strategies reported used by husbands and perceived by wives were positive affect, delegate and ignore. The most significant correlation between strategies reported used by wives and perceived by husbands were: suggest, avoid, and reciprocation. This study found a negative and significant relationship between using the strategy ignore and marital satisfaction, and a negative and significant relationship between perceived partners’ use of the strategy threat and marital satisfaction.