Pei Gee Khor, Zhooriyati Sehu Mohamad


The number of dual-earning family is growing in the current society where most of the both parents are working at the same time to seek for financial freedom. Therefore, they are struggling in balancing between work and family. This qualitative study with phenomenology research design conducted to explore the phenomena of dual-income parents on challenges faced by dual-earning parents. Besides that, this study also investigates the impact of dual-earning families on adolescents. Total five adolescents and working parents from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were interviewed using semi-structured questions and the collected data was analysed using thematic analysis. The results show that the dual-income parents experiencing various challenges such as lack of interactions, stress, parenting role and imbalance role in their daily live. Whereas, a major challenge of adolescents in dual-income family is lack of interactions with parents where it affects adolescents to raise problems of communications with the parents. The current study has theoretically implied on raising awareness to dual-income parents to the challenges faced by adolescents and practically provide an overview of challenges faced by dual-income parents for the adolescent’s children from dual-income family background. Future studies could figure out possible coping strategies and looks into expectations of dual-income family members to help dual-income families in Malaysia tackle current challenges.



dual-income parents, dual-income family, adolescent, challenges, parent-child relationship

Full Text:



Aminah, A. (2007). Family-Friendly employment policy practices in the Malaysian government and selected private organizations. The Journal of Global Business Management, 3, 128–135.

Barnyak, N. C., & McNelly, T. A. (2009). An urban school district’s parent nvolvement: A Study of teachers’ and administrators’ beliefs and practices. School Community Journal, 19(1), 33–58.

Bernardo, C., Paleti, R., Hoklas, M., & Bhat, C. (2015). An empirical investigation into the time-use and activity patterns of dual-earner couples with and without young children. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 76, 71–91.

Berry, B. M. (2001). Changes in children’s time with parents. Population Studies, (1).

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101.

Chen, Z. Y., & Dornbusch, S. M. (1998). Relating aspects of adolescent emotional autonomy

to academic achievement and deviant behavior. Journal of Adolescent Research, 13(3), 293 - 319.

Closson, E. F., Mimiaga, M. J., Sherman, S. G., Tangmunkongvorakul, A., Friedman, R. K., Limbada, M., & Safren, S. A. (2015). Intimacy versus isolation: A qualitative study of sexual practices among sexually active HIV-infected patients in HIV care in Brazil, Thailand, and Zambia. PLoS ONE, 10(3).

Crockett, L. J., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2000). Social change and adolescent development:

Issues and challenges. Negotiating Adolescence in Times of Social Change, (June), 1–

Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity, youth, and crisis. New York: Norton. Faris, M., & McCarroll, E. (2010). Crying babies. Texas Child Care, 3(2), 95–101.

Hadi, Z. A. (1990, December), Juvenile delinquency: Its relationship to the family social support. Paper presented at the First National Conference on the Caring Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Haddock, S. A., Zimmerman, T. S., Ziemba, S. J., & Lyness, K. P. (2006). Practices of dual earner couples successfully balancing work and family. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 27(2), 207–234.

Hall, W. A., & Callery, P. (2003). Balancing personal and family trajectories: An international study of dual-earner couples with pre-school children. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 40(4), 401–412.

Hashim, I. H. M. (2007). Stress, coping and social supports in adolescent years. Kajian Malaysia, (1), 97–115. Retrieved from

Hashim, S., Kuldas, S., & Ismail, H. N. (2016). A review of literature on at-risk adolescent students in Malaysia : Needing an academic resilience model. SHS Web of Conferences, 23.

Jalal, F. H. A. (2005). Family functioning and adolescent delinquency in Malaysia. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 352. Retrieved from

Jung, E., Hwang, W., Zhang, Y., & Zhang, Y. (2018). Do Parents' Educational Expectations in

Adolescence Predict Adult Life Satisfaction? Family Relations, 67(4), 552-566.

Kroger, J. (2004). Identity in formation. In K. Hoover (Ed.), The future of identity: Centennial reflections on the legacy of Erik Erikson. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Kuldas, S., Hashim, S., & Ismail, H. N. (2015). Malaysian adolescent students' needs for enhancing thinking skills, counteracting risk factors and demonstrating academic resilience. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 20(1), 32-47.

Li, J., Loerbroks, A., & Siegrist, J. (2017). Effort–reward imbalance at work, parental support, and suicidal ideation in adolescents: A cross-sectional study from Chinese dual-earner families. Safety and Health at Work, 8(1), 77–83.

Lindberg, E., Y?ld?r?m, E., Elvan, Ö., Öztürk, D., & Recepo?lu, S. (2019). Parents' Educational

Expectations: Does It Matter for Academic Success? SDU International Journal of Educational Studies. 6. 150-160. 10.33710/sduijes.596569.

Liu, X., & Dyer, S. (2014). Revisiting radical feminism: Partnered dual-earner mothers’ place still in the home? Women’s Studies International Forum, 47(PA), 1–10.

McAdams, D. P., and de St Aubin, E. (1992). A theory of generativity and its assessment through self-report, behavioral acts and narrative themes in autobiography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 1003-1015.

McAdams, D. P., Josselson, R., & Lieblich, A. (2006). Identity and story: creating self in narrative. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Mumthas, N. S., & Muhsina, M. (2014). Problems of adolescents at higher secondary Level. Guru Journal of Behavioral and Social Sciences, 2(1), 252–257.

Noor, Noraini. (2015). Work–life balance policies in Malaysia: theory and practice.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks,

CA: Sage.

Pickhardt, C. E. (2010). Adolescence and the problem of parental expectations. Retrieved December 9, 2019, from Psychology Today:

Pickhardt, C. E. (2015). Adolescent Excellence and Managing High Expectations. Retrieved December 12, 2019, from Psychology Today:

Ponnet, K., Wouters, E., Goedemé, T., & Mortelmans, D. (2016). Family Financial Stress, Parenting and Problem Behavior in Adolescents: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Approach. Journal of Family Issues, 37(4), 574–597.

Poulin, F., Nadeau, K., & Scaramella, L. V. (2012). The role of parents in young adolescents’ competence with peers: An observational study of advice giving and intrusiveness. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 58(4), 437–462.

Ryan, L. (2016, November 4). Dealing with the Challenges of a Dual-Income Family. Retrieved December 10, 2019, from Lisa Ryan LPC:

Shockley, K. M., & Allen, T. D. (2018). It’s not what I expected: The association between dual-earner couples’ met expectations for the division of paid and family labor and wellbeing. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 104(December 2016), 240–260.

Sokol, J. (2009). Identity development throughout the lifetime: An examination of Eriksonian theory. Graduate Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1(2), 139–148. Retrieved from

Steinberg, L. (1996). Adolescence (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Stertz, A. M., Grether, T., & Wiese, B. S. (2017). Gender-role attitudes and parental work decisions after childbirth: A longitudinal dyadic perspective with dual-earner couples. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 101(April 2016), 104–118.

Svetaz, M. V., Garcia-Huidobro, D., & Allen, M. (2014). Parents and family matter. Strategies for developing family-centered adolescent care within primary carepractices. Primary Care - Clinics in Office Practice, 41(3), 489–506.

Winkler, A. E. (1998). Earnings of husbands and wives in dual-earner families. Monthly Labor Review.

Xie, J., Shi, Y., & Ma, H. (2017). Relationship between similarity in work-family centrality and marital satisfaction among dual-earner couples. Personality and Individual Differences, 113, 103–108.

Yadav, T., & Rani, S. (2015). Work life balance: challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Applied Research, 1(11), 680–684.

Zaimah, R., Sarmila, M. S., Selvadurai, S., Lyndon, N., Er, A. C., & Norizam Jamian, M. (2013). The history and current status of dual-career families in Malaysia. Asian Social Science, 9(6), 16–21.

Zhang, Y., Xu, S., Jin, J., & Ford, M. T. (2018). The within and cross domain effects of work-family enrichment: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 104(January 2017), 210–227.


  • There are currently no refbacks.