Date of this Version



© 1992, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Working families are under stress as they try to balance demands of job, children and spouse. Strategies are needed to prevent stress overload and burnout.

Over the past 25 years, women's and men's roles have changed dramatically. Today's women are better educated, have better paying jobs and are having fewer children. Women represent 45 percent of the labor force, nearly 80 percent work outside the home and 75 percent of mothers of young children are employed.

As women have entered and stayed in the work force in ever-increasing numbers, the dual-earner family has emerged. Married couple earners comprise more than 70 percent of the labor force. The average working wife contributes 35-40 percent of her family's annual income; among wives who work year-round, the average contribution is greater than 40 percent.

Economic conditions in the 1990s have contributed more to the ever-increasing numbers of women in the work force than any other factor. Inflation, the desire for a higher living standard, an unemployed partner, and the desire to be gainfully employed contribute to the economic "push" for women to work.