Prevalence of work-family conflict: Are work and family boundaries asymmetrically permeable?

Authors

  • Michael R. Frone,

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Institute on Alcoholism, New York State Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, 1021 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14203, U.S.A.
    • Research Institute on Alcoholism, 1021 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, U.S.A.
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  • Marcia Russell,

    1. Research Institute on Alcoholism, New York State Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, 1021 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14203, U.S.A.
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  • M. Lynne Cooper

    1. Center for the Study of Behavioral and Social Aspects of Health, State University of New York at Buffalo, 348 Park Hall, Buffalo, New York 14260, U.S.A.
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Abstract

This study tested Pleck's (1977) hypothesis concerning gender differences in the relative permeability of work and family boundaries. Data were obtained from a randomly drawn community sample of 631 employed adults (278 men; 353 women). Respondents reported that work interfered with family life (W→F conflict) more frequently than family life interfered with work (F→W conflict). These results suggest that work and family boundaries are indeed asymmetrically permeable with family boundaries being more permeable than work boundaries. However, there was no evidence of gender differences in the pattern of asymmetry, indicating that the dynamics of work and family boundaries may operate similarly among men and women. Implications for future research are discussed.

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