Work—family conflict: A comparison of dual-career and traditional-career men

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Abstract

This research examines differences in the antecedents and consequences of work—family conflict — a form of interrole conflict that occurs when the demands of work and family are mutually incompatible in some respect — for two groups of career-oriented men: those with a homemaker wife (called traditional-career men) and those with a spouse in a career-oriented job (labelled dual-career men). Using a model built on the work of Kopelman, Greenhaus and Connolly (1983), the responses from 136 dual-career men and 137 traditional-career men were compared. The primary conclusion of this research is that maternal career employment has a significant effect on the antecedents of work — family conflict. Dual-career men appear to experience a significant negative spillover from their work domain. We suggest that this spillover is due to a lack of structural flexibility in the workplace, outdated organizational policies that operate on the myth of separate worlds' and a lack of social support for the male dual-career role which contradicts societal norms.

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