Joy E. Pixley, sociology assistant professor, has received the 2009 Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research. The award recognizes studies for future research and outlines specific implications and findings to inform policy and practice in work-life and human resources. Pixley’s paper, “Life Course Patterns of Career-Prioritizing Decisions and Occupational Attainment in Dual-Earner Couples,” was selected from more than 2,500 articles published in more than 75 scholarly journals. Based on an analysis of 73 career decisions made by 37 couples, she found:

  • The best outcome for the wife was when the couple took turns that alternatively favored first the husband’s career, then the wife’s career equally.
  • The best outcome for the husband was when the couple first prioritized the wife’s career and thereafter made decisions that substantially supported the husband’s career.
  • When the husband had only moderate income gains, the couple had the lowest outcome of the decision patterns.

Pixley presented her research at the World at Work Total Rewards 2010 Conference and Exhibition May 16-19 in Dallas, Texas. 

To read more about Pixley’s findings, visit

connect with us


© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766