Aim: Work–family conflict (WFC) refers to the conflict that arises between a person's work and family life. Previous studies have reported workload, job demands, and irregular working shifts as related to the WFC among nurses and have clarified that WFC is a predictor of job satisfaction, morale, and turnover intention. Very few studies have investigated WFC among Japanese nurses and no study has taken into consideration the sense of coherence (SOC) that helps nurses to cope with stress. The present study aimed to determine the relationship between WFC and SOC and to clarify how WFC and a SOC influence the mental and physical health of nurses in order to suggest ways of establishing work environments that enable nurses to achieve a balance between their work and family life.
Methods: A self-report questionnaire survey of 388 Japanese female nurses was conducted. The data from 138 nurses who were a mother and/or wife were analyzed.
Results: Work–family conflict was significantly related to the SOC. It had a larger impact on the physical and mental health of nurses than their work and family characteristics. The SOC also had a major influence on the physical and mental health of nurses, while having a buffering effect on WFC with respect to depression.
Conclusions: Our findings underscore the importance of taking organizational steps to create work environments that contribute to an enhanced SOC in order to reduce the WFC among nurses.