22 March 2019

Longitudinal associations between work-family conflict and enrichment, inter-parental conflict, and child internalizing and externalizing problems

This study investigated the associations between maternal work-family conflict and enrichment, child internalising and externalising problems, and inter-parental conflict. The findings demonstrated the importance of the interface of work-family in shaping family outcomes. The primary direction of influence was from work-family factors to inter-parental conflict and child mental health problems. Maternal work-family conflict predicted increases in child internalising problems, while child internalising problems predicted reductions in maternal work-family enrichment. Inter-parental conflict predicted increases in child externalising problems. In contrast maternal work-family enrichment predicted reductions in inter-parental conflict. Given these findings, the authors argued that interventions aimed at promoting family-friendly work environments and policies would likely yield benefits for parents and their families.