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The Dynamics of Work-Family Conflict

  • 22nd Dec'22

Every industry has its challenges. One issue that is particular to the computer and communication field is workplace-family conflict (WFC). Workplaces may be complex, decentralizing places where people cannot avoid interacting with each other on a regular basis. This leads to greater interdependence among co-workers and more opportunities for conflict.

When it comes to employee satisfaction and workplace morale, the amount of work-related frustration is often a key indicator. In fact, it's been found that unhappy workers receive overwhelming less job satisfaction and stay in their jobs for far fewer years than they otherwise would have. These negative behavioral outcomes can often impact the bottom line as well.

A study conducted by the Census Bureau found that about 75% of men in married couples, and 60.5% of women in married couples, are earning their own salaries. Dual-income families are becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States.


The theories of work-family conflict


Conflict between family members refers to various types of opposition between family members, including verbal or physical, financial or psychological. It could be within the couple or parents and children, or siblings. 

When a conflict arises involving two people or groups, it generally has certain elements in common. One of the famous theories of conflict produced by Coser (1956) says that the goal is to "neutralize, eliminate, or injure a rival". In simple words when one domain is not supportive of the other, conflict arises. Its an inter-role conflict.


Work-family conflict and mental health


Mental health is a term describing the state of being in which individuals are satisfied and fulfilled, feel confident and content, build relationships and have healthy personal relationships, are capable of productive work, are helpful to others, and maintain quality of life (World Health Organization [WHO], 2004).

The definition of mental health is based on two philosophical views: happiness and the need to be well-functioning within society. According to Keyes (2002), he took both the hedonic and eudaimonic approaches into account, and created an integrated theory of mental health that encompasses psychological, emotional, and social well-being.

Keyes et al.'s (2010) research has established the importance of mental health. Specifically, Keyes et al. have linked poor mental health to future mental illness, the probability of all-cause mortality, suicidality, academic impairment among college students, other negative outcomes, and positive mental health was found to be related to desired workplace outcomes like less absenteeism and lower levels of unprofessional behaviors.

As a society, we're increasingly trying to better understand how conditions such as happiness are quantified and regulated. Research has shown that some stable or important variables of well-being include sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., age, gender, and marital status), socioeconomic indicators (e.g., education and employment), and personal life conditions (e.g., urban or rural settings and residence).



Work-family conflicts arise when either the family is not supportive of the work-role or work-hours. Also when the employers are not supportive of work-life balance. Work family conflicts may arise. A balance between the two promotes healthy relationships, higher productivity and lower stress levels. When you understand the theories of work family conflict you can work towards creating a balance between the two and you may you have to never choose between work, family or personal life.



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