Home managerial tasks, perceived competence, and related social, psychological, and economic consequences for retired couples Public Deposited



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  • This study was designed to identify and describe home management tasks, perceived managerial competency, and related social, psychological, and economic consequences for a sample of retired couples. Managerial tasks were defined as essential, periodic activities which (1) sustain the living patterns of a person or family in a common household, and (2) adaptive responses to problems and opportunities produced by changing human or material resources, environmental situations, or health conditions. Management tasks were studied in eight functional areas: food, clothing, secondary living space, household maintenance, marital and family relations, financial resources, social-community relations, and health. Managerial tasks were also classified into four types on the basis of complexity, content, social units involved, and management processes required. The classification included routine managerial, complex managerial, transactional, and interpersonal tasks. Managerial competence was defined as the ability to identify, obtain, and utilize human and material resources to accomplish tasks and achieve goals. Twenty-five items were prepared to measure perceived managerial competence. Items were prepared on the following components of management: underlying factors; collecting and analyzing information; planning and decision making; assessing human resources and interpersonal skills; implementing and coordinating; and evaluating, adapting, and redirecting. The 102 urban couples interviewed had lived an average of 70 years, had completed high school, had an annual median income of $5,200 a year, and a median net worth of $36,400. Nine out of ten lived in their own homes. The husbands had been retired an average of five years. Home managerial and related activities were important to eight of ten men and women after retirement since the potential loss of these activities was viewed very negatively. Women did significantly more of the managerial tasks in the areas of food, clothing, house cleaning, and marital-family relations. (Significance statements refer to the .05 level). Men did more of the tasks in secondary living areas and in finances. Husbands and wives shared equally in the managerial tasks of health maintenance and social-community relations. Retirement of husbands from their major occupations resulted in significantly greater involvement in 17 of the 63 managerial tasks studied, and a complementary decrease by their wives. However, the basic pattern in the distribution of tasks before and after retirement was one of stability. There was a relatively equal sharing of tasks between husbands and wives and a similar assumption of leadership in household and family affairs, 54 percent of the tasks and leadership being attributed to wives. Ninety-five percent of the respondents said they had reached a workable division of responsibilities and sharing of activities. The post retirement patterns required fewer than six months to establish and were considered to be stable and satisfactory by nine of ten respondents. Husbands and wives did not increase their involvement in tasks related to maintaining the marital relationship, nor did wives increase interpersonal activities to help their husbands adjust to retirement. One of ten wives reported her husband's retirement as a major adjustment problem. Increased involvement of men in home managerial tasks was associated negatively with ratings on quality of task performance. There were no significant differences between men and women on their managerial competence scores. Respondents who perceived themselves as competent home managers reinforced this judgment with high ratings on the performance of tasks in the eight functional areas. Those with the highest managerial competence scores had made the most extensive preparations for retirement. Other social, psychological, and economic factors positively related to perceived managerial competence included self image, satisfaction, income, and net worth. Fifteen couples were also interviewed from a rural village for comparison with the urban sample.
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