A multi-sample confirmatory factor analysis of work-family conflict

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Valtinson, Gale Rene
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
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The large-scale entrance of women into the workforce over the past two decades has fundamentally changed the nature of work and family life. This trend has been associated with a constellation of emerging challenges and conflicts in balancing work and family spheres. Gutek, Searle, and Klepa (1991) developed two models for explaining work-family conflict. The Rational Model proposed that workfamily conflict is directly proportionate to the amount of time one spends in work and family activities. The Gender Role Model proposed that work-family conflict is moderated by gender role socialization, in that men are predicted to experience greater work-family conflict when family responsibilities interfere with their career, whereas women are predicted to experience greater conflict when their career interferes with their family responsibilities. To date, models of work-family conflict have been largely derived from White samples, and it has not been established that our models can be generalized across culture. Distinct cultural histories between Black and White women suggest potential differences in how work-family conflict is experienced across ethnicity.The purpose of this study was to test a measure of work-family conflict for invariance across ethnicity. Participants were 111 Black and 119 White, married, middle-income mothers with dependent children who worked outside of the home on a full-time basis. It was hypothesized that Gutek et al.'s (1991) measure of work-family conflict would demonstrate variance across ethnicity. The study further extended Gutek's research by hypothesizing that White women would experience greater work-family conflict when work interfered with family responsibilities than the reverse, and that Black women would be equally sensitive to interference with either domain. Results of a multi-sample confirmatory factor analysis failed to confirm the hypothesis of construct bias or the prediction that White women would be more sensitive to work interference with family life than the reverse. The results of this study supported the prediction that among Black women, there would be no differences in the relationship between family interference with work and work interference with family on total work-family conflict. Limitations of the present study and implications for future research were discussed.