I find work-family conflict to be an extremely interesting topic. Of course, there is nothing particularly new about this idea and its relevance in our lives. The stress, strain, and conflict involved with balancing work and home responsibilities has been well-documented. However, I do believe new patterns are emerging, not coincidentally as gender roles continue to evolve. Women continue to endorse high levels of work-family conflict. This is likely due to women’s increased presence and prominence in the workplace. In addition, “mommy guilt,” a term reflective of some women’s pressures that they should be sacrificing work to be with their children during key developmental years has been frequently reported.
Meanwhile, men are reporting higher levels of conflict as well, with some data suggesting more than women. This may be due to men’s interest in being more involved at home while still aspiring to high levels of work productivity. Further, men seem to be increasingly reporting workplace cultures and policies that are not exactly embracing the idea of the more ‘balanced’ male employee. While the topic is complex, I look forward to conducting more research in this area of research. In particular, I’d like to better understand what are the most central workplace and individual factors that predict healthy levels of work-family conflict.