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Aim/Purpose of the Research

This article was focusing on the study to analyze the gender differences and the comparison of dual-earner between men and women. This study were identify the coping mechanism that been used by dual-earner men and women as an employer who's a deal with the role overload between the work and family demand.

The purpose of this research for study coping mechanism as a moderator to look out the relationship between overload and stress. There have 3 main definitions to explain in deeply about the coping, role overload and stress as researcher mentioned in this article. Coping is a process that will be used to manage the demands which it's can be assumed to increase the resources in human self. It's will be divided to 2 type of coping which is positive and negative coping. However, it's really depends on the individual to maximized the resources that come from their environment or itself as a way to cope in positively (Lazarus in Seaward, 2006).

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However, in this article the role overload was defined as a time-based form of role conflict. This role of conflict includes the how the person perceives the collection of demands that include the multiple roles which exceed the time and energy resources that someone has it. Indirectly, it's arise a role conflict because this role overload affect that individual to unable achieve and fulfil the task or work in adequately as the roles were required. In addition, the role overload also can differentiate from the others perspective of time-based conflict which is occur because strains-based form of role conflict. Furthermore, role overload also related with the demands of the total of time that individual need to fulfill it as a required in the workplace or family demands. It's showed that the limited time and the burden to finish all the work or task at the workplace and also the household to handle it were contribute to the role overload situation.

According to Understanding Stress (2010), stress was defined as a normal response in physically towards the circumstance or situation which is can make ourselves to be threatened and frustrated towards what happen to us. But the stress will contribute the positively or negatively if the stress were be solves in the appropriates ways. In addition, Seaward (2006), mentioned that stress is an experience in terms of threat or being in the situation not safely that be received or faced (in imagine or reality types) within mentally and physically well-being and spiritual by the individual.

In this article, there have several definition of the role overload and there also have argument and crticise about this concept. As a researcher point that the previous research is more focus on the overload ini the separate terms for work and family. However, there have several studies that stated the role overload were been described as a total role overload which is the averdemand was accross within one of the total role set.

Theory Used

Researcher was used the model of overload, coping and stress in order to explain the study area in this article. This theoretical model showed that there have a related with 3 of the concepts have been used in this study which is role overload, coping and stress. This theoretical model was mentioned that when the demands of family and work were increase indirectly it's also been increasing the perception of individual towards the role overload and has more responsibilities to be handled. However, based on this model, the researcher was come out the prediction that the gender will be affecting the relationship between work and family demands. From this 2 variable, researcher also discuss referred to the model that there have a traditional gender-role expectation which is this fact were pointed that the man have a important role in their workplace roles compared to the role of women is more important put on their family roles.

Furthermore, the researcher also stated there have association between role overload with the high of levels in perceiving the stress. Coping is a one of moderate variable that emphasized by researcher in this study which is can moderate the overload and stress relationship. Based on this study coping were define as a strategies than be used by individual to handle with the strains of role overload either in workplace or family demands. In relating with this study area, researcher was focusing on the coping strategies that used by families rather than individually. This is because the purpose of this study is to define the role overload facing by dual-earner between men and women in order mostly have a challenge of balancing the two jobs with family demands.

Besides that, to relate this study with the theoretical model that created by researcher, this article also stated the types of coping strategies that have been identified in the previous study. There are problem-focus coping and emotional-focus coping. As mentioned above, this study will be emphasized on the coping strategies that used by families so that in this study area, researcher was use the efficacy of problem-focused coping strategies. Furthermore, in gender differences issues, the researcher want to find the gender differences to adapt with the theory which is the relationship between overload and problem coping mechanism will be emphasized in this study. Then, the coping strategies were been used by researcher as a moderator variable to moderate the relationship between overload and stress. The moderator will influence the overload and stress when coping mechanism are increasing used. Based on the model, the researcher assumes that there have a direct and positive relationship between perceived the role overload and the coping strategies. According the gender-role theory, there have previous study that referred to this theory and find out the contribution of the coping strategies in the gender differences. In this study, researcher will be assumed that coping strategies as an option to reduce the work role demand were have more benefit towards the men compare the women.


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Based on this study, the researcher was developing 2 main hypotheses as prediction to solve this research problem. There are first the relationships between family demands and role overload will be stronger for men than women and secondly was the relationship between work demands and role overload will be stronger for women than for men. Besides that, the researcher also stated the several hypotheses to identify whether there have a gender differences in term of overload and coping. There are i) Women will be more likely than men to cope by seeking support and the assumption is there will be a stronger relationship between overload and coping by seeking support for women than men, ii) men will be more likely than women to cope by restructuring family roles and the assumption is there will be stronger relationship between overload and coping by restructuring family roles for men than women, iii) women will be more likely than men to cope by scaling back and the assumption is there will be a stronger relationship between overload and coping by scaling back for women than men, iv) women will be more likely than men to cope by restructuring work roles and the assumption is there will be a stronger relationship between overload and coping by restructuring work roles for men than women.

Besides that, there also have a 3 type of hypotheses that been develop by researcher to point out the effectiveness of coping strategies that been used in this study. There are i) coping by seeking social support will moderate the relationship between overload and stress, such that it will reduce stress more for women than for men, ii) coping by restructuring family roles will moderate the relationship between overload and stress, such that it well reduce stress more for women than for men and iii) coping by restructuring work roles will moderate the relationship between overload and stress, such that it will reduce stress more for men than for women.

Research Design

This article showed the quantitative research design which by showed the total of respondent is 3027 in this study. In addition, the used of the hypothesis testing is one of characteristics of the quantitative methods that applied in this study. Indeed, the theoretical model to show the association between overload, coping and stress among men and women in dual-earner families is part of the criteria in the quantitative research which is to test the theory based on the research finding. In this study, the researcher stated the theory of gender-role and also the model of overload, coping and stress.

Based on the Clark & Creswell (2010) point that the theory is benefit to the quantitative research design in terms of explaining and predicting the probably of the relationship between different variable that want to been studied by researcher. So, that the variable will be testing over and over and end up whether it will be support or argue that theory have been used based on the research findings.

Sampling Method

In this article, showed that the sampling method that has been used by researcher is a stratified sampling. For instance, the researcher mentioned that the sample was taken from a database of 31,561 workers who are employed in 100 large Canadian organizations include the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. From this procedures, there have a 3 criteria that have been determined by researcher as a limitation for the sample selection. The criteria is the respondent were married or living common law, both spouses or partners were employed full-time and they had dependent children living at home and/or were the primary caregivers of elderly dependents.

Stratified sampling is one of the sample technique that be useful in order to produces that the population can be representative by this technique compare to the simple random sampling which emphasize to the stratum information is accurate by select the elements from the sampling frame refer to the mathematically random procedure (Neuman & Kreuger, 2003).


There are 3063 respondent as a sample have been used in this study which is 1623 women and 1440 men were selected based on the 3 of main criteria that develop by researcher. From the socioeconomic status, there have are similar of average age which is 42.2 years old for men and 40.3 years for women. In this article, researcher pointed that in the education level, 68.1% men have a college diploma or higher and women is 69.3% have a college diploma or higher. For family income, there are 68.1% of men had family income greater than $80,000 per year compared to women is 64.9%. This showed that there have differences between men and women in dual-earner families.

Technique of Data Collection

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In this article the researcher use a SEM technique in term of the used of partial least squares (PLS) for testing the hypothesis. The purposed of the SEM is to test the model that the researcher was developed in this study. There have 2 types of construct that been explained in this article. There are formative construct which is included 6 construct : work demands, family demands, cope-support seeking, family role restructuring, scaling back and work role restructuring. This all of construct will be reported by beta weights.

In addition, for analysing the reliability, internal consistency and convergent validity, there have 2 types of reflective construct. There are overload and stress. Besides that, for the result of cross-loading that has been occurred between the construct of perceived stress and overload, the largest cross-loading between items and construct was 0.50 in the male sample. But in the female sample the largest cross-loading was 0.44 and that has become the result that model was acceptable.


The researcher pointed that all the construct was operationalized in reflective and formative indicators. It means that the reflective are the direction of causality flows from the construct to the item or it called as effect indicator and formative is indicator that determines the construct or it called as cause indicators.

In this article, researcher was determined that work role demands and family role demands as a formative construct. However, the perceived role overload is the reflective construct that be measured by Overload of Role Obligation sub-scale from Bohen and Viveros-Long Job-Family Role Strain Scale. This instrument has a five item and has been measured on a 5 point scale. There are 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree and Cronbach Alpha was 0.86 for the male respondent and 0.85 for the female respondent.

Besides that, the perceived stress was measured using by Cohen, Kamarck and Mermelstein's (1983) Perceived Stress Scale. This instrument has 10 items and the purposed of this measurement is to assess a person's perceptual appraisals of the extent to which his or her current life situation is unpredictable, uncontrollable and burdensome. In addition, this instrument was scaling in 5 point scale that ranged from 1 = never to 5 = always and the respondent who have a higher scores were showed the higher perceived stress. The Cronbach Alpha for this scale was 0.85 for the male sample and 0.83 for the female sample.

However, to measure the coping strategies, the researcher was using Dual-Employed Coping Scale (DECS) by Skinner and McCubbin's to identify the coping behaviours that dual-earner family including the female and male employ to manage the multiple roles. This instrument has four types of coping strategies which is Cope-Support Seeking, Cope-Family Role Restructuring, Cope-Scaling Back and Cope-Work Role Restructuring. This all types of coping strategies is to identify how often they used each of strategise to manage the demands associated with work and personal or family life using the 5 point Likert Scale that been ranges from 1 - strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree.


For the result of this article, it will be divided into four part to explain each of the variable that been studied by researcher.

Gender Differences in Demands, Perceived Overload and Stress

In this part, the women in dual-earner families indicated the higher levels of overload and stress compared to men. This is because men tendency to get a more effective coping to be chosen by them and stress is most likely faced by women compared to men. In addition, the nature life that the women have more demanding in their household task is contribute to the higher responsibility for themselves especially in terms of managing the household jobs and also mostly spending more time on household compared to men.

Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Demands and Overload

The finding stated that the family demand is a higher role overload for men. But for women, the type of task, the tendency to multitask, responsibility for family roles and parental overload is contributing to role overload for them. In addition, there have predicting that time spending on the family roles is showed the family-role overload. There have a strongly relationship between time spending in work roles and perceived overload for women because it give some time to women do not involve from their traditional role of caregiver. Meanwhile, for men family demands have a significant relationship with total-role overload for men because the time spending with the family will interrupted that their spending time towards their traditional breadwinner role. Based from the finding, it's indicate that the work demands is more contribute the total-role overload for dual-earner men and women compared to the family demands. However, based on the hypothesis stated that work demands is more significant to men life as a greater role overload because work role as a part their life and they must being responsibility to it.


There have 2 coping strategies that been emphasized by researcher in this study. There are scaling back and restructuring family roles. This 2 of coping strategies is more used by respondent compared to other strategies which is coping by restructuring work roles and coping by seeking support. The finding based on the use of this 2 coping strategies showed that both men and women with dual-earner were put their work life is a first level in their life and followed by family and personal life. This can cause them to scaling back and restructuring within the family role that only have in family as a coping strategies toward they have difficulty to restructuring their work role.

As a result from this article showed the similarly finding by others research which is showed that the women more cope by get the support from the outside the family compared to the men. This is because women have a different socialization compared to men which is they mostly like to ask and accept help from other people and mostly like to share what their faced in their life with other people. Contrast with men, they mostly to be self-sufficient and more control by themselves to not ask or accept any help from others.

Besides that, compared to men, women more having coping strategies by scaling back. It means that, in modern time being the both of women and men should share together in term of play their role to do the housework job and taking care their children. Finding also pointed that there have a strong relationship between perceived overload and coping by scaling back for men. Men have tendency to showed the reactive behaviour for instance sleeping less, task or jobs were not been completed by them and cut down towards their outside activities when they are in the overload situation.

Finding in this study also mentioned that the contribution and the influences of the traditional gender-role socialization towards the dual-earner employees. Based on the traditionally, women were socialized in term of their performance perceived by themselves in the family roles, but men was evaluate their self-worth as a person in giving a breadwinner role in their family.

Coping as a Moderator of the Relationship Between Overload and Stress

The coping was taken by researcher as a moderator that can influence the relationship between overload and stress. Finding showed that seeking support from others will alleviate the overload relationship. In addition, coping with restructuring family roles can give influence and impact towards the overload-stress relationship for men and women. Means that both of this gender can reduced their stress with the sharing the household and involve all the family member to do so.

However, based on the finding stated that by restructuring the work roles it will attenuated the overload-stress relationship only for men. Means that, with the cutting back at the work, its will benefit to men to cope by restructuring their work role.


It can be concluded that this article was benefit to the coping, overload and stress of study area. This study were testing the model of the overload, coping and stress which is coping was selected as a moderator to identify the relationship between overload and stress. Besides that, theory of the gender role also were emphasized in this study by the researcher to be tested either its support or not the finding of this study in terms of the overload and stress among men and women with dual-earner families.


We can interpret this article based on the purposed of the study that to testing the gender differences by a model of overload, coping and stress that stated by the researcher. Indeed, coping strategies was chosen by researcher as a moderator to identify relationship between overload and stress. Perhaps, this model can showed to the reader that finding of this study were support or ague towards this model and also the theory of gender-role. This is because the objective of the study is to testing the gender differences in that model based on the theory of gender-role.


There have four limitation which is the behaviour coping strategies only focused by researcher in this study and the researcher didn't attempt to used other variable that can be relate with this study. This is because refer to the researcher they realized that there have little association between the total-role overload and coping as a psychological form for example reappraisal and so on.

In addition, the focusing on the gender study also has limitation which is different of socialized among women and men will give a different outcome and also have differences in appraisal in both women and men. This is because women and men have a different view toward the overload that the face on their life and perception about the stress itself. In addition, both men and women also have different coping strategies that maybe affect their action.

Besides that, the measurement of work and family demands must be elaborate in details to ensure that the definition and meaning what the researcher really need in this study can be achieved. This is because there have explicit definition of the work demands and also family demand. Indirectly, the researcher needs to identify the appropriate measurement towards the work demands and family demands to ensure the accurate of analysing.

The last of limitation is period of time for this study have been done. This is because the cross-sectional research much more appropriate to implement this study based on the cross sectional data that researcher have been collected from the database in Canada. In the longitudinal research, the researcher can ensure that the accurate finding from this study because in the long period of time, it help to explaining the relationship between the variables overload, coping and stress in that model. Indeed, the research which involves the behavioural study should be done in the longitudinal study to ensure the good finding.

Ethical Consideration

The researcher was emphasized the ethical consideration in their study which is the sample was taken from the database in Canada. For this purposed, the data which is from those individuals were be collected as a part of a national study of work and family issues in Canada. There also have a standard that researcher want to fulfill in term of sample selected based on the criteria that determined by researcher to ensure that the adequate and effectiveness of findings from this study.

Critic (3 Strengthens and 3 Weaknesses) Reason For It

In this critic review part, I will discuss about the strengthen and weaknesses of this study. Firstly, the strengthen for this study is have a large of a sample size which it's can be divide to women 1,440 and 1,623 men. This big sample size will give a lot of benefit to this study such as the finding will be accurate, effectiveness, can be generalized and be representing the all of population among women and men with dual-earner families in Canada. Besides that, the larger sample size also can contribute of the good and benefit finding to the country to continue other research or study on that particular area such as focus on the stress study and promotion of healthy mental health among workers especially among women and men with dual-earner families. This can contribute other study that can be done by the government to ensure that the problem that facing among worker can be solved.

Secondly, there have a lot of resource for sample that be used in this study. The researcher was dividing the resource to get the sample from 3 parts which is from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. This procedure will ensure that the findings are not bias and not only focus to one resource only but it getting diverse from various type of work organisation in Canada. This will benefit to the country to look out from a big area of workplace and give a guarantee that the entire respondent from different workplace will be considered by researcher. Besides that, this strengthen can help the government to get a database on the women and men with dual-earner families and indirectly its help them to clarify about the information of the socioeconomic status especially in the income status among their workers. In addition, the government also can identify how many of the worker is come from the lower-level earners jobs and higher-level earner jobs and the finding will help the government to clarify the stress, coping and overload relationship among women and men workers.

Lastly, the strengthens of this study is there have a model that be used to identify the demands of coping, stress and overload based on the model stated by researcher. Means that, the benefit of the model that has been used by researcher as a guide to relate with variables that being studied. Based on this model, the relationship between demands of coping towards stress and overload can be clearly to view that and indirectly helps researcher to clarify it to the readers. This is because the using of same model will contribute the different outcome based on the place and culture that the study has be done. Indeed, the cross-culture will contribute the different outcome on finding for certain study that has been done by others researcher. Besides that, for using this model will help to readers understand about the relationship between the dependent and independent variable in this study.

However, there also have a weaknesses in this study which is the study was focus on the coping as a one of behaviour action. This will give a difficulty in term of an understanding of the effectiveness of the coping strategies that the individual choose to take especially for the different gender. In addition, different culture also will give a difference of meaning and outcome for this type of variable. The successful of the coping strategies that they take its depends to that particular person because it's not give a similar effect to the different people especially in different gender in this study.

Besides that, second weaknesses in this study is the selection of the research design in this study. This is because if the behaviour want to be focus in the study, the selection of the research design must be appropriate. In addition, the longitudinal study is a appropriate research design to implement this study because to see and identify the behavioural both men and women towards coping strategies is need more time to bring up the good assessment for a better result.

Lastly, in this study only focus toward the marital spouse but my opinion it can be abroad to the families with the divorce because it's will contribute more overload and stress among both women and men to their children for previous marriage. Although, they already divorce but the responsibility of the taking care for child and elder care also still in their responsibility. This suggestion must be considered because the number of the marital spouse who are divorce were increased and they still have their own responsibility such as taking care the children, taking care their parents also they have a monthly expanses to be settle every month. This all responsibility will contribute to the workload and stress among the divorce spouse although they are from a dual-earner families. So, in my opinion, the criteria that researcher limited should focus also to the divorce marriage which still have a same responsibility with others marriage couple with dual-earner families.

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