WORK-FAMILY CONFLICT AND LIFE SATISFACTION IN FEMALE GRADUATE STUDENTS: TESTING MEDIATING AND MODERATING HYPOTHESES

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2004-05-06

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Most of the research on work-family conflict has examined people working in the paid labor force while simultaneously juggling the roles of paid worker, partner, parent, and homemaker. There is limited research on female graduate students and their experiences of work-family conflict. The goals of the present study were to examine the relationship between work-family conflict (work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict) and global life satisfaction, the relationship between work-family conflict and domain-specific satisfactions (family satisfaction and work satisfaction), and the mediators and moderators of these relationships among a sample of female graduate students. Participants included 187 female graduate students. Both work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict were hypothesized to be negatively related to domain-specific and global life satisfactions. Work/family conflict self-efficacy and perceived social support were hypothesized to be positively related to domain-specific and global life satisfactions. Neuroticism was hypothesized to be negatively related to domain-specific and global life satisfactions, whereas extraversion was hypothesized to be positively related to domain-specific and global satisfactions. These hypothesized relationships were significant except the positive relationships of extraversion to family, work, and global life satisfactions. It was also predicted that domain-specific satisfactions would mediate the relationships between work-to-family conflict and global life satisfaction, and between family-to-work conflict and global life satisfaction. Work/family conflict self-efficacy and perceived social support were hypothesized to moderate the relationships between work-to-family conflict and domain-specific satisfactions, and between family-to-work conflict and domain-specific satisfactions. Results suggested family satisfaction and work satisfaction partially mediated the relationships between work-to-family conflict and global life satisfaction, and between family-to-work conflict and global life satisfaction. Work/family conflict self-efficacy moderated both the relationship between work-to-family conflict and work satisfaction, and between family-to-work conflict and work satisfaction. No other significant moderators were found. Implications for research and practice, and limitations of the present study are discussed.

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