Work–Family Conflict Among Members of Full-Time Dual-Earner Couples: An Examination of Family Life Stage, Gender, and Age

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Abstract

Based on cross-sectional data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce, this study investigates relationships between gender, age, and work–family conflict across 6 family life stages. Participants were 690 married/partnered employees who worked 35 or more hours a week. Results indicated a small but negative relationship between age and work–family conflict. Work–family conflict was also associated with family stage, with the least amount of conflict occurring during the empty nest stage and the most occurring when the youngest child in the home was 5 years of age or younger. Gender differences were also observed. Specifically, men reported more work interference with family than did women when the youngest child in the home was a teen. Women overall reported more family interference with work than did men. Results concerning age and gender revealed a different pattern demonstrating that family stage is not simply a proxy for age. Age had a main effect on work-to-family conflict that was monotonic in nature and on family to-work conflict that was linear in nature. In conclusion, the results indicate gender, age, and family stage each uniquely relate to work–family conflict.

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