Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 419–441 | Cite as

Farm Business-Owning Couples: Interrelationships among Business Tensions, Relationship Conflict Quality, and Spousal Satisfaction



The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among business tensions, relationship conflict quality, and satisfaction with spouse for 206 farm business-owning couples. The Sustainable Family Business Model and the Family FIRO (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation) model guided the path analysis. For both husbands and wives, locus of control was negatively related to business tensions; decision involvement discrepancy was positively related to relationship conflict quality; and business tensions were negatively related to relationship conflict quality. For husbands, relationship conflict quality was positively related to satisfaction with spouse; for wives, business tensions were negatively related to satisfaction with business-owning spouse.

Key words

family business farm couples FIRO relationship conflict spousal satisfaction 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Acock, A. C., Deseran, F. A. 1986Off-farm employment by women and marital instabilityRural Sociology51314327Google Scholar
  2. Alwin, D. F., Hauser, R. M. 1981

    The decomposition of effects of path analysis

    Marsden, P. V. eds. Linear Models in Social ResearchSageBeverly Hills, CA123140
    Google Scholar
  3. Berkowitz, A. D., Perkins, H. W. 1984Stress among farm women: Work and family as interacting systemsJournal of Marriage and the Family46161166Google Scholar
  4. Berry, R. E., Williams, F. L. 1987Assessing the relationship between quality of life and marital and income satisfaction: A path analytic approachJournal of Marriage and the Family49107116Google Scholar
  5. Bokemeier, J., Maurer, R. 1987Marital quality and conjugal labor involvement of rural couplesFamily Relations36417424Google Scholar
  6. Bugaighis, J. A., Schumm, W. R. 1983Alternative measures of perceived locus of controlPsychological Reports52819823Google Scholar
  7. Busby, B. 1977The contribution of conflict analysis to home management theoryJournal of Consumer studies and Home Economics1289297Google Scholar
  8. Christensen, A., Shenk, J. L. 1991Communication, conflict, and psychological distance in nondistressed, clinic, and divorcing couplesJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology59458463CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cosier, R. A., Harvey, M. 1998The hidden strengths in family business: Functional conflictFamily Business Review117579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coughenour, C. M., Swanson, L. 1983Work statuses and occupations of men and women in farm families and the structure of farmsRural Sociology482343Google Scholar
  11. Danes, S. M. (1997). Farm family businesses: Summary of research. Minnesota Rural Family Business Survey. Retrieved January, 3, 2003, from University of Minnesota Extension Service Web site: Scholar
  12. Danes, S. M., & Amarapurkar, S. (2001). Business tensions and success in farm family businesses. The Journal of Family Relations and Human Development/Family Economics and Resource Management Biennial, FERM: AAFCS 178–190.Google Scholar
  13. Danes, S. M., Leichtentritt, R., Metz, M. E., Huddleston-Casas, C. 2000Effects of conflict styles and conflict severityJournal of Family and Economic Issues21259286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Danes, S. M., McTavish, D. 1997Role involvement of farm womenJournal of Family and Economic Issues186989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Danes, S. M., Olson, P. D. 2003Women’s role involvement in family businesses, business tensions, and business successFamily Business Review165368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Danes, S. M., Rettig, K. D. 1993Farm wives’ business and household decision involvement in times of economic stressHome Economics Research Journal21307333Google Scholar
  17. Danes, S. M., Rueter, M. A., Kwon, H. K., Doherty, W. D. 2002Family FIRO model: An application to family businessFamily Business Review153143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Danes, S. M., Zuiker, V., Kean, R., Arbuthnot, J. 1999Predictors of family business tensions and goal acheivementsFamily Business Review12241252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Davis-Brown, K., Salamon, S. 1987Farm families in crisis: An application of stress theory to farm family researchFamily Relations36368373Google Scholar
  20. Doherty, W. J. 1983

    Locus of control and marital interaction

    Lefcourt, H. M. eds. Research with Locus of Control Construct, Vol 2. Methods and ApplicationsAcademic PressNew York245277
    Google Scholar
  21. Doherty, W. J., Colangelo, N., Hovander, D. 1991Priority setting in family change and clinical practice: The family FIRO modelFamily process30227240CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Doherty, W. J., Ryder, R. G. 1979Locus of control, interpersonal trust, and assertive behavior among newly wedsJournal of Personality and Social Psychology3722122220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Emery, R. E. 1992

    Family conflicts and their developmental implications: A conceptual analysis of meanings for the structure of relationships

    Shantz, C. U.Hartup, W. W. eds. Conflict in Child and Adolescent DevelopmentCambridge University PressNew York270298
    Google Scholar
  24. Frishkoff, P. A., Brown, B. M. 1996

    Women on the move in family business

    Aronoff, C. E.Astrachan, J. H.Ward, J. L. eds. Family and Business Sourcebook IIBusiness ResourcesMarietta, GA446450
    Google Scholar
  25. Gano-Phillips, S., Fincham, F. D. 1995

    Family conflict, divorce, and children’s adjustment

    Fitzpatrick, M. A.Vangelisti, A. L. eds. Explaining Family InteractionsSageThousand Oaks206231
    Google Scholar
  26. Godwin, D. D., Draughn, P. S., Little, L. F., Marlowe, J. 1991Wives’ off-farm employment, farm family economic status, and family relationshipsJournal of Marriage and the Family53389402Google Scholar
  27. Gottman, J. M., Krokoff, L. J. 1989Marital interaction and satisfaction: A longitudinal viewJournal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology574752CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gottman, J. M., Levenson, R. W. 1992Marital processes predictive of later dissolution: Behavior, physiology and healthJournal of Personality and Social Psychology63221233CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Greeff, A. P., Bruyne, T. 2000Conflict management styles and marital satisfactionJournal of Sex Marital Therapy26321334CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Greenberger, E., O’Neil, R. 1993Spouse, parent, worker: Role commitment and role related experiences in the construction of adults’ well-beingDevelopmental Psychology29181197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hollander, B. S., Bukowitz, W. R. 2002

    Women, family culture, and family business

    Aronoff, C. E.Astrachan, J. HWard, J. L. eds. Family and Business Sourcebook IIBusiness ResourcesMarietta, GA497505
    Google Scholar
  32. Karney, B. R., Bradbury, T. N. 1995The longitudinal course of marital quality and stability: A review of theory, method and researchPsychological Bulletin118334PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Kaye, K. 2002

    Penetrating the cycle of sustained conflict

    Aronoff, C. E.Astrachan, J. H.Ward, J. L. eds. Family and Business Sourcebook IIBusiness ResourcesMarietta, GA355370
    Google Scholar
  34. Larsen, A., Olson, D. H. 1990

    Capturing the complexity of family systems: Integrating family theory, family scores, and family analysis

    Draper, T. W.Marcos, A. C. eds. Family Variables: Conceptualization, Measurement, and Use SageNewbury Park1947
    Google Scholar
  35. Lyson, T. A. 1985Husband and wife work roles and the organization and operation of family farmsJournal of Marriage and the Family47759764Google Scholar
  36. Maguire, M. C. 1999Treating the dyad as the unit of analysis: A primer on three analytic approachesJournal of Marriage and the Family61213223Google Scholar
  37. McCoy, M., Filson, G. 1996Working off the farm: Impacts on quality of LifeSocial Indicators Research37149163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Metz, M. E. 1993The styles of conflict inventory (SCI)Consulting Psychologists PressPalo Alto, CAGoogle Scholar
  39. Metz, M. E. 1995Some results from empirical studies of couples conflict resolutionMinnesota Association for Marital and Family Therapy Newsletter1345Google Scholar
  40. Metz, M. E., Dwyer, M. 1993Relationship conflict management patterns among sex dysfunction, sex offender, and satisfied couplesJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy19104122PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Metz, M. E., Epstein, N. 2001Assessing the role of relationship conflict in sexual dysfunctionJournal of Sex Marital Therapy28139164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Metz, M. E., Rosser, B. R. .S., Strapko, N. 1994Differences in conflict-resolution styles among heterosexual, gay, and lesbian couplesThe Journal of Sex Research31293308Google Scholar
  43. Miller, P. C., Lefcourt, H. M., Ware, E. E. 1983The construction and development of the Miller Marital Locus of Control ScaleCanadian Journal of Behavioral science15266279Google Scholar
  44. Nelson, G. 1991Locus of control for successful female small business proprietersThe Mid-Atlantic Journal of Business27213224Google Scholar
  45. O’Neil, R., Greenberger, E. 1994Patterns of commitment to work and parenting: Implications for role-strainJournal of Marriage and the Family56101118Google Scholar
  46. Rosenblatt, P. 1990Farming is in our blood: Farm families in economic crisisIowa State University PressAmes, IAGoogle Scholar
  47. Rosenblatt, P. 1991The interplay of family system and business system in family farms during economic recessionFamily Business Review44557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rosenblatt, P. C., Mik, L., Anderson, R. M., Johnson, P. A. 1985The Family in BusinessJossey-BassSan FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  49. Rusbult, C. E., Verette, J., Whitney, G. A., Slovik, L. F., Lipkus, I. 1991Accommodation processes in close relationships: Theory and preliminary empirical evidenceJournal of Personality and Social Psychology605378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sabatelli, R. M. 1986Locus of control, locus of control differences, and quality of relationship in married dyadsPsychological Reports58939945Google Scholar
  51. Sontag, M. S., Bubolz, M. M. 1996Families on small farmsMichigan State University PressEast Lansing, MIGoogle Scholar
  52. Stafford, K., Duncan, K. A., Danes, S. M., Winter, M. 1999A research model of sustainable family businessesFamily Business Review12197208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stewart, C. C., Danes, S. M. 2001The relationships between inclusion and control in resort family businesses: A developmental approach to conflictJournal of Family and Economic Issues22293320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Swisher, R. R., Elder, G. H.,Jr., Lorenz, F. O., Conger, R. D. 1998The long arm of the farm: How an occupation structures exposure and vulnerability to stressors across role domainsJournal of Health and Social Behavior397289PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Thompson, L., Walker, A. J. 1982The dyad as the unit of analysis. Conceptual and methodological issuesJournal of Marriage and the Family44889900Google Scholar
  56. Vanzetti, N. A., Notarius, C. I., NeeSmith, D. 1992Specific and generalized expectancies in marital interactionJournal of Family Psychology6171183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ward, J. L. 1997Keeping the family business healthy: How to plan for continuing growth, profitability, and family leadershipBusiness owners ResourcesMarietta, GAGoogle Scholar
  58. Ward, J. L., Aronoff, C. E. 1994Managing family-business conflictNations BusinessNovember5455Google Scholar
  59. Weegel, D. J., Weigel, R. R., Berger, P. S., Cook, A. S., DelCampo, R. 1995Work-family conflict and the quality of family life: Specifying linking mechanismsFamily and consumer sciences research journal24528Google Scholar
  60. Wilkening, E. A. 1981

    Farm families and family farming

    Coward, R. T.Smith, W. M. eds. The Family in Rural SocietyWestview PressBoulder, CO2737
    Google Scholar
  61. Yanagisako, S. J. 1984

    Explicating residence: A cultural analysis of changing households among Japanese Americans

    Netting, R. M.Wilk, R. R.Arnould, E. J. eds. Households: Comparative and Historical Studies of the Domestic GroupUniversity of California PressBerkeley330352
    Google Scholar
  62. Zook, L. 1988Gender Role changes in Farm FamiliesHuman Services in Rural Environment1179Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MinnesotaSt. Paul
  2. 2.University of MinnesotaSt. Paul

Personalised recommendations