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Contextual Influences on Work and Family Roles: Gender, Culture, and Socioeconomic Factors


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kristin M. Perrone-McGovern, Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services, Ball State University, Teachers College, 622, Muncie, IN 47306 (e-mail:


Multiple factors influence the ways in which men and women combine work and family roles. Career counselors and other career development professionals must be cognizant of the cultural shifts in gender roles and the unique perspectives of younger generations regarding work–family interface. Workplace characteristics, economic trends, and personal values converge to influence decisions related to career, family, and other life roles. Much of the existing literature addressing work–family interface has been conducted in the United States and may not generalize to international populations. In this conceptual article, the authors examine current empirical knowledge and culturally sensitive frameworks for understanding work–family interface across countries and cultures. The authors discuss implications and recommendations for practice based on an integrated conceptualization of the literature.