Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Long-distance commuters get divorced more often, Swedish study finds

Date:
May 25, 2011
Source:
Ume University
Summary:
Commuting to work can be advantageous in terms of income and career opportunities, and it presents a good alternative to moving. But long commuting times also entail less time for family and friends and can lead to stress and health problems. Pair relationships are also jeopardized, and according to a new research from Sweden, the risk of separation is 40 percent higher among long-distance commuters than among other people.

Commuting to work can be advantageous in terms of income and career opportunities, and it presents a good alternative to moving. But long commuting times also entail less time for family and friends and can lead to stress and health problems. Pair relationships are also jeopardized, and according to a new dissertation from Ume University, the risk of separation is 40 percent higher among long-distance commuters than among other people.

Expanding job market regions are prompting more and more people to commute long distances to work, and for 11 percent of Swedes it takes at least 45 minutes to get to work. Many of them are parents of small children and live with their partner, and most of them are men.

In her dissertation, social geographer Erika Sandow at Ume University has mapped long-distance commuting in Sweden and examined its impacts on income and relationships. The findings show that even though income and careers often benefit from commuting, social costs are incurred, and, according to Erika Sandow, they should be included in the discussion.

The study covers more than two million Swedes who were married or cohabiting in 2000, and the results are based on Statistics Sweden's registry data for these individuals from 1995 and 2005. Erika Sandow shows that those who commute long distances gain access to a broader job market and often to greater career opportunities and better income development. But women and men benefit in different degrees, with income increasing more for long-distance commuting men. However, these commuters' partners lose income, and since most long-distance commuters are men, this means that many women both take home less money and take on the responsibility for the family and children. -- It's also common for women to take a less qualified job close to home, or to start working part time, in order to drop off and pick up the kids at day care, says Erika Sandow.

Her findings show that expanding work regions primarily benefit the careers of men, and continued increases in long-distance commuting may preserve and reinforce gender differences in the home and on the job market. At the same time, those (few) women who do commute long distances gain new career opportunities and higher pay.

But, as Erika Sandow points out, previous studies have shown that women who commute long distances experience more stress and time pressure, and feel less successful in their work, than men who commute.

A major proportion of long-distance commuters have small children and are well established in certain place. Most of those who start commuting continue to do so, and more than half have been commuting for at least five years. With time, these commuters learn to adapt, according to Erika Sandow, and experience makes it easier to create strategies for making things work out. But the situation is not one that everyone can stand in the long run. The findings indicate that long-distance commuters run a 40 percent higher risk of separating than other people do, and it's the first years of long-distance commuting that are the most trying for a relationship.

Even though expanding job market regions are good for growth, there are social costs tied to long travel times that should be factored into the debate about broader regions, Erika Sandow emphasizes. -- We don't know what long-distance commuting will lead to in the long run and what price we'll have to pay for economic growth. It's important to highlight the social consequences that commuting entails. For instance, how are children affected by growing up with one or both parents commuting long distances to work?


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ume University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ume University. "Long-distance commuters get divorced more often, Swedish study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525085920.htm>.
Ume University. (2011, May 25). Long-distance commuters get divorced more often, Swedish study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525085920.htm
Ume University. "Long-distance commuters get divorced more often, Swedish study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525085920.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) The B612 Foundation says asteroids strike Earth much more often than previously thought, and are hoping to build an early warning system. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins