Maintaining a job while managing family responsibilities has become a major issue for much of today's workforce. Working couples who care both for dependent children and aging parents constitute a fast growing and understudied group called "the sandwiched generation." Because of their multiple roles, these workers tend to be highly stressed and likely to have burnouts. The article presents the results of an exploratory study that compared 40 Israeli "sandwiched generation" couples living on a kibbutz, 80 Israeli couples living in small towns and 75 American men and women. The methodology involved a self-report questionnaire that included measures of social support, work-family conflict (WFC) and burnout. The findings revealed both cross-cultural and cross-gender differences: Americans reported higher WFC than Israelis whereas Israelis reported higher family-work conflict (FWC) than Americans. In addition, men received more support from their spouse than women with both work and family problems, Israelis received more help from their spouse with both home and work problems than Americans, and Israeli kibbutz members received more help from their spouse with both home and work problems than Israeli city dwellers. Support from the spouse for both work and home problems was found to be negatively correlated with burnout. These findings, as tentative as they are, demonstrate the theoretical and practical importance of studying "sandwiched generation" couples.
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