Chapter 17: Sex Differences in Coping with Work–Home Interference
T. Alexandra Beauregard INTRODUCTION The trend towards longer working hours for much of the labour force in the UK, along with escalating numbers of dual-income families and employed single parents, creates increasing opportunities for multiple roles to clash with one another. Interference between work and home occurs when participation in one role is made more difficult by virtue of participation in the other (Greenhaus and Beutell, 1985). Research has established the utility of differentiating between work interference with home (WIH), and home interference with work (HIW) (Kelloway et al., 1999). Both directions of interference can produce a number of negative outcomes. Employees experiencing work–home interference have been found to exhibit lower levels of organizational commitment and job performance, and greater anxiety, depression, absenteeism and intention to turnover (see Eby et al., 2005). Given the costs of work–home interference for both organizations and individuals, the importance of coping strategies is considerable. While there is a growing literature on the impact of organization-implemented practices designed to reduce work–home interference, little attention has been paid to individual coping mechanisms. For employees of organizations that do not offer work–home practices, or who lack access to available practices, individual coping is of paramount significance. This chapter seeks to extend existing research on work–home coping in several ways. First, it investigates the effects on interference of a wider range of coping strategies than those previously addressed in the work–home literature. Second, it takes into account both directions of work–home...
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