Handbook of Work–Life Integration Among Professionals
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Handbook of Work–Life Integration Among Professionals

Challenges and Opportunities

Edited by Debra A. Major and Ronald J. Burke

How work and family lives can be effectively managed has been a hot topic of public debate in recent years. This Handbook integrates current thinking and research evidence regarding how professionals navigate multiple life roles to achieve satisfaction and fulfillment.
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Chapter 7: Effects of gender and parenting on work–life integration

Afra S. Ahmad, Eden B. King and Amanda J. Anderson


Experiences at the intersection of work and life depend – at least in part – on gender and parental status. Indeed, role (Katz and Kahn, 1978), social role and gender role (Eagly, 1987) theories are generally interpreted to make convergent predictions that women and parents will encounter more challenges at the work–life interface than men and non-parents. However, despite these theoretical predictions, empirical research on work–life integration provides mixed evidence. When examining both meta-analytic and study specific findings, some point to gender differences while others suggest there are no differences (e.g., Behson, 2002; Ford et al., 2007; Grzywacz and Marks, 2000; Kossek and Ozeki, 1998). Similarly, studies that contrast the experiences of men and women with and without children also offer mixed results (e.g., Frone, 2003; Hill et al., 2003; Hill, 2005).

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