The purpose of this paper is to investigate the part that gender roles play in fathers’ work-family experiences. The authors compared two models (gender role as a correlate and as a moderator) and hypothesized that gender role beliefs play an important factor related to fathers’ experiences of work-family conflict.
Participants completed an online survey that consisted of questions related to work and family experiences. The final sample consisted of 264 employed, married fathers.
Results showed a relationship between traditional gender role beliefs and number of hours spent at work and at home. Additionally, number of work hours was related to time-based work-to-family conflict, but not strain-based work-to-family conflict. The results supported the expectation that work hours mediate the relationship between a father's traditional gender role beliefs and time-based work-to-family conflict.
Limitations of this study include the use cross-sectional and self-report data. Future research might want to expand the theoretical model to be more inclusive of fathers of more diverse demographic backgrounds, and assess the model with a longitudinal design.
A key theoretical implication gleaned from the study is that work-family researchers should include the socially constructed variable of gender roles in their work-family research. Findings provide support for the contention that organizations need to ensure that mothers’ and fathers’ unique needs are being met through family-friendly programs. The authors provide suggestions for specific workplace strategies.
This is one of the first studies that focussed on fathers’ experiences of the work-family interface. The results clarify that traditional gender role beliefs give rise to fathers’ gendered behaviors and ultimately work-family conflict.
Hergatt Huffman, A., J. Olson, K., C. O’Gara Jr, T. and B. King, E. (2014), "Gender role beliefs and fathers’ work-family conflict", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 774-793. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-11-2012-0372Download as .RIS
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