Father Involvement, Father–Child Relationship Quality, and Satisfaction With Family Work: Actor and Partner Influences on Marital Quality


division of household labor, family systems theory, family work, father involvement, father–child relationship, marital quality


Using family systems theory and an actor–partner interdependence model, we examine the influence of the division of family work (including fathers’ participation in child rearing) on father–child relationship quality, satisfaction with the family work division, and marital quality. The strongest effect on both spouses’ marital quality is wives’ perception of father–child relationship quality. Following this, wives’ perceptions of father participation in child rearing are positively associated with both spouses’ reports of marital quality. Furthermore, both husbands and wives report higher marital quality when they are more satisfied with the division of labor. When wives report their husbands have greater responsibility for family tasks, both spouses report higher satisfaction with the division of labor. Post hoc analyses revealed that wives are more satisfied with the division of labor when they work with their spouse rather than alone. All findings support a systemic relational orientation to family work, the division of roles, and relationship quality.

Original Publication Citation

*Galovan, A. M., Holmes, E. K., Schramm, D. G., and Lee, T. R. (2014). Father involvement and family work: Influences on husbands’ and wives’ marital quality. Journal of Family Issues, 35, 1846-1867. First published on-line March 2013.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Family Issues




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor