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Examining couple agreement about work‐family conflict

Michelle Streich (University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)
Wendy J. Casper (University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA)
Amy Nicole Salvaggio (University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 28 March 2008




This study aims to explore the nature of couple agreement about work‐family conflict, adding to previous research by explicitly testing the extent to which couples agree when rating work interference with family (WIF) and the influence of this agreement on other outcomes.


In total, 224 dual‐earner couples were surveyed to assess their own WIF, as well as what they believed to be their partner's level of WIF. Participants also completed questions regarding their organizational commitment.


Couples agreed when rating their own and their partners' WIF more than they disagreed. As predicted, couples agreed more when rating the female partner's WIF as compared to the male partner's WIF. Finally, couple agreement about WIF moderated the relationship between female WIF and her continuance organizational commitment such that the relationship between the female partner's WIF and her level of continuance commitment was stronger when agreement about her experienced WIF was low.

Research limitations/implications

This was a convenience sample, and therefore caution should be used when generalizing to a broader population. Second, the research design was cross‐sectional, prohibiting causal inferences and conclusions about couple agreement over time.

Practical implications

Organizations should consider the perceptions and attitudes of both employees and their partners, as both have implications for work attitudes. Organizations might benefit from considering ways in which they can involve and engage employees' spouses and partners, and could offer flexible schedules as a way to reduce employee work‐to‐family conflict and enhance both employee and partner attitudes toward the organization.


This paper contributes to the literature by exploring both self and partner perceptions of work‐family conflict and examining couple agreement about this conflict.



Streich, M., Casper, W.J. and Nicole Salvaggio, A. (2008), "Examining couple agreement about work‐family conflict", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 252-272.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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