Parents' experiences of work-family conflict: Does it matter if coworkers have children?

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20377/jfr-780

Keywords:

environment, Germany, gender, person-team fit, similarity, dissimilarity

Abstract

Objective: To examine how the perception of work-family conflict relates to the share of parents in women's and men's direct coworking environments.

Background: The idea of relational demography posits that individuals' relative positions within their coworking environments have an impact on their wellbeing. Depending on women's and men's parenthood status and the corresponding (dis-)similarity compared to their colleagues, this idea was applied to the perception of work-to-family and family-to-work conflicts.

Method: Time-based and strain-based work-to-family and family-to-work conflicts were analyzed by gender and parenthood with random effects panel regression models using longitudinal data from the LEEP-B3-survey, a large-scale linked employer-employee survey from Germany (2012/2013 and 2014/2015; 2,228 women and 2,656 men). The composition of the respondents’ working groups was included as a moderating variable.

Results: Mothers and fathers of children aged 0-11 years reported higher work-to-family and family-to-work conflicts than parents of older children and childless women and men. For mothers of children aged 0-11 years, a higher share of parents in their working groups was associated with less time-based family-to-work conflict. For fathers of children aged 0-11 years, the same associations were found for overall work-to-family conflict, strain-based work-to-family conflict as well as for all dimensions of family-to-work conflict.

Conclusion: Similarity between the team members regarding parenthood seemed to reduce mothers' and fathers' perceptions of work-family conflict beyond several other characteristics of the individuals and the workplaces.

References

Allen, T. D., Herst, D. E. L., Bruck, C. S., & Sutton, M. (2000). Consequences associated with work-to-family conflict: A review and agenda for future research. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 5(2), 278–308. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8998.5.2.278

Bailyn, L. (1993). Breaking the mold: Women, men, and time in the new corporate world. Free Press.

Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The job demands-resources model: State of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22(3), 309–328. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940710733115

Behson, S. J. (2002). Which dominates? The relative importance of work-family organizational support and general organizational context on employee outcomes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 61(1), 53–72. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1006/jvbe.2001.1845

Bianchi, S. M., & Milkie, M. A. (2010). Work and family research in the first decade of the 21st century. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3), 705–725. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00726.x

Breaugh, J. A. (1985). The measurement of work autonomy. Human Relations, 38(6), 551–570. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/001872678503800604

Bryne, D. E. (1971). The attraction paradigm. Academic Press.

Byron, K. (2005). A meta-analytic review of work-family conflict and its antecedents. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 67(2), 169–198. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2004.08.009

Carlson, D. S., Kacmar, K. M., & Williams, L. J. (2000). Construction and initial validation of a multidimensional measure of work-family conflict. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 56(2), 249–276. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1006/jvbe.1999.1713

Churchill, B., & Craig, L. (2021). Men’s and women’s changing attitudes towards fatherhood and working fathers in Australia. Current Sociology, 001139212110127. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/00113921211012737

Diewald, M., Schunck, R., Abendroth, A.-K., Melzer, S. M., Pausch, S., Reimann, M., Andernach, B., & Jacobebbinghaus, P. (2014). The SFB882-B3 Linked Employer-Employee Panel Survey (LEEP-B3). Journal of Contextual Economics - Schmollers Jahrbuch, 134(3), 379–390. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3790/schm.134.3.379

Edlund, J., & Öun, I. (2016). Who should work and who should care? Attitudes towards the desirable division of labour between mothers and fathers in five European countries. Acta Sociologica, 59(2), 151–169. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0001699316631024

Elfenbein, H. A., & O’Reilly, C. A. (2007). Fitting in: The effects of relational demography and person-culture fit on group process and performance. Group & Organization Management, 32(1), 109–142. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1059601106286882

Greenhaus, J. H., Allen, T. D., & Spector, P. E. (2006). Health consequences of work-family conflict: The dark side of the work-family interface. In P. L. Perrewé & D. C. Ganster (Eds.), Employee health, coping and methodologies (pp. 61–98). Emerald Group Publishing Limited. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1479-3555(05)05002-X

Greenhaus, J. H., & Beutell, N. J. (1985). Sources of conflict between work and family roles. The Academy of Management Review, 10(1), 76–88. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.1985.4277352

Gutek, B. A., Searle, S., & Klepa, L. (1991). Rational versus gender role explanations for work-family conflict. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76(4), 560–568. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.76.4.560

Henz, U., & Mills, C. (2015). Work-life conflict in Britain: Job demands and resources. European Sociological Review, 31(1), 1–13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcu076

Kanter, R. M. (1977). Men and women of the corporation. Basic Books.

Kossek, E. E., Pichler, S., Bodner, T., & Hammer, L. B. (2011). Workplace social support and work-family conflict: A meta-analysis clarifying the influence of general and work-family-specific supervisor and organizational support. Personnel Psychology, 64(2), 289–313. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01211.x

Lott, Y., & Klenner, C. (2018). Are the ideal worker and ideal parent norms about to change? The acceptance of part-time and parental leave at German workplaces. Community, Work & Family, 21(5), 564–580. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13668803.2018.1526775

Mesmer-Magnus, J., & Viswesvaran, C. (2009). The role of the coworker in reducing work-family conflict: A review and directions for future research. Pratiques Psychologiques, 15(2), 213–224. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prps.2008.09.009

Michel, J. S., Kotrba, L. M., Mitchelson, J. K., Clark, M. A., & Baltes, B. B. (2011). Antecedents of work-family conflict: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32(5), 689–725. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/job.695

Netemeyer, R. G., Boles, J. S., & McMurria, R. (1996). Development and validation of work-family conflict and family-work conflict scales. 81(4), 400–410. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.81.4.400

Petersen, T. (2004). Analyzing panel data: Fixed- and random-effects models. In M. Hardy & A. Bryman (Eds.), Handbook of data analysis (pp. 331–345). Sage. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4135/9781848608184.n14

Reiter-Palmon, R., Kennel, V., & Allen, J. A. (2021). Teams in small organizations: Conceptual, methodological, and practical considerations. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 530291. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.530291

Riordan, C. M. (2000). Relational demography within groups: Past developments, contradictions, and new directions. Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 19, 131–173. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-7301(00)19005-X

Roberge, M.-É., & van Dick, R. (2010). Recognizing the benefits of diversity: When and how does diversity increase group performance? Human Resource Management Review, 20(4), 295–308. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrmr.2009.09.002

Swisher, R., Sweet, S., & Moen, P. (2004). The family-friendly community and its life course fit for dual-earner couples. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66(2), 281–292. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2004.00020.x

Thatcher, S. M. B. (2008). The contextual importance of diversity: The impact of relational demography and team diversity on individual performance and satisfaction. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 12(1), 97–112. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1937-8327.1999.tb00117.x

Tsui, A. S., Egan, T. D., & O’Reilly, C. A. (1992). Being different: Relational demography and organizational attachment. Administrative Science Quarterly, 37(4), 549. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2393472

van Vianen, A. E. M. (2018). Person-environment fit: A review of its basic tenets. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 5(1), 75–101. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-032117-104702

Voydanoff, P. (2002). Linkages between the work-family interface and work, family, and individual outcomes. Journal of Family Issues, 23(1), 138–164. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X02023001007

Voydanoff, P. (2005). Work demands and work-to-family and family-to-work conflict: Direct and indirect relationships. Journal of Family Issues, 26(6), 707–726. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X05277516

Williams, J. C. (1999). Unbending gender: Why work and family conflict and what to do about it. Oxford University Press.

Williams, J. C., Blair-Loy, M., & Berdahl, J. L. (2013). Cultural schemas, social class, and the flexibility stigma. Journal of Social Issues, 69(2), 209–234. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12012

Downloads

Additional Files

Published

2022-06-10

How to Cite

Schulz, F., & Reimann, M. (2022). Parents’ experiences of work-family conflict: Does it matter if coworkers have children?. Journal of Family Research. https://doi.org/10.20377/jfr-780

Issue

Section

Special Issue "Work-family conflict from the perspective of the family"