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Work–home conflict, antecedents and outcomes: a life-stage perspective among working parents

Liat Kulik (School of Social Work, Bar Ilan University , Ramat Gan, Israel)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 29 July 2019

Issue publication date: 29 July 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine differences in work interferes with family (WIF) and family interferes with work (FIW) conflicts, their antecedents and their outcomes throughout the parenting life cycle. The following parenting stages were compared: parenthood to preschool-age children, parenthood to school-age children, parenthood to adolescents, parenthood to offspring at the launching stage and parenthood to offspring at the empty-nest stage.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample included 549 working parents in Israel (270 fathers and 279 mothers). The criterion for inclusion was fulfilling the dual roles of parent and paid worker. The research questionnaires were distributed in workplaces in diverse organizations: high-tech companies, government ministries, factories and business organizations.

Findings

Levels of WIF and FIW conflicts are highest during the early parenthood stages. Overload peaks during parenthood to adolescents and during the empty-nest stage. The later stages in the parenting life cycle (the launching and empty-nest stages) benefit parents: WIF and FIW conflicts are relatively low, mental well-being is relatively high and the number of roles that parents perform is higher than in earlier stages. Along the entire parenting life cycle, fathers experience higher levels of WIF conflict than mothers, but no gender differences were found in FIW conflict.

Practical implications

Public policy should encourage employers to develop a family-friendly approach and consider the needs of both parents, based on the understanding that in addition to being breadwinners, fathers and mothers today both participate in housework and in raising children.

Originality/value

From a theoretical perspective, the research conclusions may provide understandings for how to integrate the parental stage as a key variable in theorizing about the experience of stressors in the work–home interface.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper is a version of an paper originally published in Hebrew in Society & Welfare, 37(4), 885-912 (Hebrew).

Citation

Kulik, L. (2019), "Work–home conflict, antecedents and outcomes: a life-stage perspective among working parents", Career Development International, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 257-274. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-06-2018-0177

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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