Rethinking work-family conflict: dual-earner policies, role conflict and role expansion in Western Europe
2010 (English)In: Journal of European Social Policy, ISSN 0958-9287, E-ISSN 1461-7269, Vol. 20, no 3, 179-195 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The aim of this article is to deepen the understanding of work-family conflict and the impact of social policies by integrating the theoretical perspectives of role conflict and role expansion. First, we present a theoretical model identifying different mechanisms through which policy may affect both role conflict and role expansion, with a particular focus on dual-earner policies. Second, we examine some of its implications, using data from the European Social Survey comprising 10,950 employees in 15 countries. In contrast to traditional theories presenting conflict and expansion as mutually exclusive, we find that workâfamily conflict and experiences of role expansion, measured with indicators of life satisfaction and psychological well being, may go hand in hand. The results also indicate that such a balance is more common in countries with dual-earner policies than in other countries. Women committing as strongly to work as men experience more work-family conflict, but also high levels of well being and satisfaction. The findings largely support our theoretical arguments and imply that future research should examine the conflict-expansion nexus rather than focussing on either of the two. In this context, both gender and policy need to be considered.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Publications , 2010. Vol. 20, no 3, 179-195 p.
dual-earner families, gender, role expansion, social policy, well being, work–family conflict
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35416DOI: 10.1177/0958928710364431ISI: 000279230500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-35416DiVA: diva2:344149