Work Hours and Work–Family Conflict: The Double-edged Sword of Involvement in Work and Family


Russell A. Matthews, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.



In this study, we examine the role of work hours in a model that incorporates involvement in both work and family with experiences of work–family conflict and subjective well-being. Self-report data were collected from 383 full-time employees and analysed using structural equation modelling techniques. Results demonstrate that role salience was positively related to behavioural involvement with work and with family. In turn, behavioural family involvement was negatively related to work hours and family-to-work conflict, while behavioural work involvement was positively related to work hours. Behavioural family involvement was also positively related to life satisfaction. Finally, both family-to-work conflict and end-of-workday strain were negatively related to life satisfaction. Our results provide insight into unexpected problems that might arise when employees place overly high importance on work and work long hours. This study serves as a foundation for researchers to examine the interplay of time spent with work and family with other aspects of the work–family interface. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.