Get access

Role Conflict and Self-Efficacy Among Employed Parents: Examining Complex Statistical Interactions


Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3C 3J7; e-mail:


In response to growing concerns with explaining how work and family interfere with each other and with statistical approaches that do not capture the way in which predictors interact, this study tested statistical interactions involving personal and social resources of 410 full-time employed women and men. The results indicate that self-efficacy is a strong predictor of family interfering with work (FIW) and work interfering with family (WIF). Gender moderates the relation between supervisor support and WIF moderates the impact of efficacy beliefs and instrumental support at home on FIW. Specifically, while supervisor support is negatively related to WIF in women and men, high levels of support more strongly affected men's perceptions of WIF. In low self-efficacy men, high levels of support at home improved their perceptions of FIW but these perceptions worsened in women. These findings contrast with earlier research that focus predominantly on the predictive value of structural demands (for example, the number of hours worked per week and family size). This study shows that gender plays a critical yet intricate role as a predictor of the successful management of work and family roles: it is not gender per se but its interaction with personal and social variables that informs us about differences in the experience of employed parents.