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Conflict, facilitation, and individual coping styles across the work and family domains

Denise M. Rotondo (Meredith College, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Joel F. Kincaid (Department of Economics and Finance, School of Business and Economics, Winston‐Salem State University, Winston‐Salem, North Carolina, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 27 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between four general coping styles, work and family conflict, and work and family facilitation in a simultaneous equations framework


Data from the MIDUS study were analyzed using two‐staged least squares regression to incorporate the reciprocity between the work and family domains into the model. Hypotheses about direct action, advice seeking, positive thinking, and cognitive reappraisal as they affect work family (W‐F) and family‐work (F‐W) conflict were tested. The impact of the coping styles on work and family facilitation has not been studied before and was also included.


The efficacy of individual coping styles on conflict and the relationships between coping and facilitation were not uniform and varied depending on the source domain. Positive thinking was associated with higher W‐F and F‐W facilitation. Direct‐action was associated with lower F‐W conflict and higher F‐W facilitation. Reappraisal and advice seeking were associated with higher F‐W conflict, but advice‐seeking was related to higher W‐F facilitation. As expected, significant reciprocal effects for conflict were found; both W‐F and F‐W conflict are significant predictors of F‐W and W‐F conflict, respectively. And, an increase in F‐W conflict was predicted to have twice the impact of factors increasing W‐F conflict. W‐F facilitation was significant in predicting levels of F‐W facilitation; F‐W facilitation did not influence levels of W‐F facilitation.


The paper suggests the family domain should be the target for problem‐focused coping strategies, most likely because greater control can be exercised at home. Practical suggestions to help employees identify strategies to lower conflict and raise facilitation, thus promoting balance, are discussed.



Rotondo, D.M. and Kincaid, J.F. (2008), "Conflict, facilitation, and individual coping styles across the work and family domains", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 484-506.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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