Investigating the moderating influences of gender upon role salience and work-family conflict.
The existence of gender differences in the experience of work-family conflict has been subject to recent debate. Contemporary research generally suggests that men and women experience work-family conflict at comparative levels. However the majority of this research investigates direct relationships only, published investigations of the moderating influence of gender are scarce. The importance or salience of a role to an individual is also theorised to influence role perceptions, including conflict. However, role salience is commonly ignored in work-family conflict research. The current research addresses these oversights by investigating the direct and indirect relationships between gender, work-family conflict, role demands, and role salience. A total of 130 university students rated their perceptions of their university (work) and family roles. No significant direct relationships between gender and bi-directional work-family conflict were produced. However, gender significantly moderated the relationship between role salience and conflict; with females experiencing more conflict as their level of family role salience increased. The opposite results were produced for the male respondents. The implications of these findings for work-family conflict research are discussed.
Equal Opportunities International