Researching the 60-Hour Dual-Earner Workweek


E. Jeffrey Hill


dual-income families, employment, job flexibility, work-family fit


This study is the first known large-scale research specifically examining the 60-hour workweek hypothesis, which proposes that the ideal for intact households with children is for both parents to participate in paid employment but with the combinedwork hours of the mother and the father not to exceed 60 hours per week. Three groups of married couples with children are compared: full-time/full-time; at least one partner part-time (60-hour); and full-time/not employed. The relationship between these arrangements and eightwork and family outcomes—job satisfaction, job flexibility, job performance, organizational commitment, work-family fit, work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, and family satisfaction—is examined. The sample is from International Business Machines Corporation (N= 3,097) and consists mostly of employees in professional positions. Sixty-hour couples report significantly greater job flexibility, improved workfamily fit, enhanced family satisfaction, and lesswork-to-family conflict. Results are discussed as they relate to the recent trend for professional mothers to leave theworkplace.

Original Publication Citation

Hill, E. J., Mead, N. T., Dean, L. R., Hafen, D. M., Gadd, R., Palmer, A. A., & Ferris, M. (2006). Researching the 60-hour dual-earner work week: An alternative to the “opt out revolution.” American Behavioral Scientist. 49, 1184-1203. doi: 10.1177/0002764206286385

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


American Behavioral Scientist




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor