Crossover of engagement and life satisfaction among dual–earner parents
An individual has the ability to project feelings and emotions onto someone else, to the extent that the other person reacts to them, whether in a similar or opposite manner. These are known as crossover effects. Crossover research investigates the influential relationship and behavioural changes between partners. It sheds light on the occurrence of similar reactions that develop across work and home domains because of interpersonal relations between partners. However, previous crossover research primarily focused on negative symptoms, disregarding the positive. This one-sided approach caused a disparity in crossover research, because one can only gain a holistic understanding of the significance and effects of working if research is extended to include positive aspects. The general objective of this study was to test a structural model of job resources, work engagement and life satisfaction, and to determine the crossover effects of work engagement and life satisfaction among dual-earner parents in South Africa. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A convenience sample of 125 couples (N = 250) was taken in the North West and Gauteng Provinces. A job resources questionnaire, the 'Utrecht Work Engagement Scale' (UWES) and the 'Satisfaction with Life Scale' (SWLS) were administered. Cronbach alpha coefficients, Pearson product-moment correlations, and structural equation modelling were used to analyse the data. Results indicated positive relationships between job resources (autonomy, support and development), work engagement and life satisfaction for both partners. Job resources explained variances of 62% for males and 72% for females in work engagement. A variance of 12% with regard to life satisfaction of males was explained by their work engagement, whilst a combination of female work engagement and their spouse's life satisfaction explained 10% of the variance in female life satisfaction. Unfortunately, expectations about crossover effects of work engagement between partners were not met. The final structural model only confirmed a crossover effect of life satisfaction between partners from male to female. Recommendations were made for the organisation and for future research.