Get access

A study of the determinants of work-to-family conflict among hospital nurses in Belgium




This study examines the relative impact of three sources of work-to-family conflict among hospital nurses: work–family policy use (childcare assistance, schedule flexibility, part-time work), job dimensions (work overload, job autonomy, overtime hours, night shifts, regularity in type of shift, weekend work, hierarchical position, variation in tasks) and organisational support (physician/co-worker support).


Many studies claim that organisational support and job dimensions are more important sources of work-to-family conflict than work–family policy use, a relation that has not been fully investigated. This study attempts to fill this gap by empirically assessing the relative impact of these sources on nurses' work-to-family conflict.


Four hundred and fifty three Belgian nurses completed a web survey. The sources of work-to-family conflict were analysed using a hierarchical linear regression.


Organisational support influences work-to-family conflict, above and beyond work–family policy use and job dimensions, while policy use has no influence. Physician and co-worker support have a unique decreasing effect, while work overload and overtime hours increase work-to-family conflict.


Organisational support, lack of work overload and absence of overtime hours reduce work-to-family conflict, whereas work–family policy use does not.

Implications for nursing management

To retain and attract nurses by reducing work-to-family conflict, hospitals should not (only) rely on work–family policies but should also invest in organisational support and adapted job dimensions.