‘‘What Happens at Home Does Not Necessarily Stay at Home’’: The Relationship of Observed Negative Couple Interaction With Physical Health, Mental Health, and Work Satisfaction


couples, health, mental health, negative marital interaction, work satisfaction


Using data from a sample of 281 couples (the Flourishing Families data set), the authors tested a systemic theoretical model that examined the relationship among observed marital interaction, physical and mental health, and work satisfaction. The results showed that negative marital interaction was associated with significantly lower work satisfaction and poorer health for men. Higher negative marital interaction scores were significantly related to elevated depression scores for both women and men. For both men and women, negative couple interaction was associated with work satisfaction through depression and health. Overall, 34% of the variance in work satisfaction for men and 24% for the women was explained by the model. The results suggest that marriage-to-work spillover can be costly for families, organizations, and governments.

Original Publication Citation

Sandberg, J.G., Harper, J.M., Hill, E.J., Miller, R.B., Yorgason, J.B., & Day, R.D. (2013). What happens at home does not necessarily stay at home: The impact of observed negative couple interaction with physical health, mental health, and work satisfaction. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75, 808-821. doi:10.1111/jomf.12039

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



Journal of Marriage and Family




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor