Job-Related Circular Mobility and the Quality of Intimate Relationships

  • Michael Feldhaus Universität Bremen, Institut für empirische und angewandte Soziologie (EMPAS)
  • Monika Schlegel University of Vechta, Institute for Social Work, Education and Sport Sciences
Keywords: Commuting behaviour, Job-related mobility, Relationship satisfaction, Relationship dynamics


This paper addresses the influence of different types of spatial mobility on relationship quality. Although some studies have been carried out on this question, the existing empirical results remain contradictory. The paper tries to overcome some of these limitations by analysing to what extent mobility demands show direct as well as indirect effects. Spatial mobility could have impacts on crucial aspects of relationship dynamics, which are theoretically and empirically identified as significant for relationship satisfaction. The mediating variables used therefore include relatedness, autonomy, conflict and the perceived fairness with regard to the division of labour. The data support the stress hypothesis which assumes that job-related mobility has a negative effect on the relationship quality, but only for women and mothers. There are actually positive effects for men. In terms of indirect effects, the results show that spatial mobility does neither reduce relatedness in relationships nor increase conflict behaviour significantly. In fact, the opposite effect seems to come to play: There is empirical evidence, especially for women, that more demanding mobility increases the feeling of autonomy within a relationship. It also increases relatedness and reduces perceived conflicts, this in turn having a positive effect on relationship quality.

How to Cite
Feldhaus, M. and Schlegel, M. 2013. Job-Related Circular Mobility and the Quality of Intimate Relationships. Comparative Population Studies. 38, 2 (Jun. 2013). DOI: