Work-Family Balance: An Exploration of Conflict and Enrichment for Women in a Traditional Occupation

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This research project presented and tested an integrative conceptual model of work/family balance, including the predictors and consequences of work/family conflict and work/family enrichment. The predictors included work/family conflict self-efficacy and support, while the dependent variable was domain satisfaction. Work/family balance can be thought of as an individual's overall experiences related to the interface between work and family related roles, tasks, and responsibilities. In this study, work/family balance is represented by the relationship between work/family conflict and work/family enrichment. Participants for this study included 161 women who were employed either part- or full-time, were in a heterosexual marriage, and had a least one child under the age of 18 living at home. In an effort to locate women who were simultaneously managing work and family roles, participants were recruited in a professional setting rather than among the population of university students. Path analysis was used to test the model of work/family balance. Two basic variations of the model of work/family balance were tested. First, a mediated model, which implied that the relations of support and self-efficacy to work and family satisfaction would be mediated by the conflict and enrichment variables, was tested. Second, a direct effects model was tested. In the direct effects model, paths were added from support and self-efficacy to the satisfaction criteria. Goodness of fit indices suggested support for the direct effects model. Implications for research, practice, and policy are also explored.