Work-Family Conflict and Employee Well-Being Over Time: The Loss Spiral Effect

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The development of work-family conflict over time was analyzed using Conservation of Resources Theory.


The reciprocal effect between work-family conflict and employee well-being was tested with cross-lagged analyses on the basis of three waves. The sample comprised 713 employees of a Portuguese service organization.


Structural equation modeling analyses, with sex, age, and parental demand controlled, indicated that the work-family conflict at T1 and T2 decreases the employee psychological well-being at T2 and T3, respectively. Furthermore, employee psychological well-being at T2 had a longitudinal cross-lagged effect on work-family at T3. We concluded that employee psychological well-being at T2 predicted work-family at T3, which was a subsequent outcome of work-family conflict on T1.


This paper highlighted the importance of organizations to consider work-family conflict to ensure employees’ well-being because they develop reciprocal relationship with a loss spiral effect.

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