Work–Family Conflict and Well-Being Across Europe

Work-family conflict and well being across Europe: the role of gender context.

A study by:

Emma Hagqvist,

Katja Gillander Gådin,

Mikael Nordenmark.

The study analysed whether gender context is important to differences in the relationship between work–family conflict (WFC) and well-being across Europe. We hypothesised that in countries that support equality in work life and where norms support women’s employment, the relationship between WFC and low well-being is weaker than in countries with less support for gender equality. Cohabiting men and women aged 18–65 years from 25 European countries were selected from the European Social Survey. A multilevel analysis was conducted to investigate the relationship between well-being and WFC, and two measurements were used to represent gender context: gender equality in work life and norms regarding women’s employment. Contrary to the hypothesis, the results showed that the negative relationship was stronger in countries with high levels of gender equality in work life and support for women’s employment than in countries with a relatively low level of gender equality in work life and support for traditional gender relations. The context in which gender is constructed may be important when studying the relationship between WFC and well-being. In addition, emphasis should be placed on policies that equalise both the labour market and the work performed at home.

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