Chapter 7: Work-family research: questioning assumptions and looking forward for true impact
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Work-family research has burgeoned since its inception in the 1970s. In the current chapter, we argue that work-family research is at a crossroads. Given the large body of research that has accumulated, there is decreasing benefits to applying the same traditional methods (e.g., cross-sectional surveys) to address perennial questions. Specifically, we argue that the time is ripe to both revisit implicit assumptions and expand future inquiry, identifying three pressing directions in both cases. Namely, key assumptions to be revisited include: (1) have we optimized our measurement of work-family conflicts, (2) have we identified the most effective point of intervention, and (3) should we attempt to change people's work-family experiences? Furthermore, important directions for future research include: (1) dismantling disciplinary siloes, (2) diving into the unique work-family experiences of different groups or at critical lifespan junctures, and (3) incorporating new theoretical perspectives.

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