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Couples who share housework are happier

LONDON, Ontario, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Married couples who share home responsibilities and share breadwinning responsibilities are happier, Canadian researchers found.

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario said couples who "share roles," where each partner's unpaid work is within 40 percent to 60 percent of the total unpaid work, report higher average measures of happiness and life satisfaction than those in other family models.

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The couples who share the responsibility for paid and unpaid work is a growing category representing about 25 percent of respondents, the reseachers said.

Rod Beaujot and Zenaida Ravanera of the University of Western Ontario's department of sociology said couples are more likely to be in a shared roles model when women have more resources and when the couple is less religious.

The researchers suggest the shared roles model is advantageous to society in terms of gender equity and its ability to maximize labor force participation by all adults. It also leaves women less vulnerable in the case of separation, divorce or death of a spouse.

However, the "complementary-traditional family" model, with men doing more paid work and women doing more unpaid work is declining, but still remains the largest category.

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The study is based on data collected from Statistics Canada Canadian General Social Surveys of 1986, 1992, 1998 and 2005.

The findings are http://sociology.uwo.ca/cluster/en/ResearchBrief2.html.

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