Work-family conflict and well-being among employed women in Malaysia: The roles of coping and work-family facilitation
Hussin, R. (2014). Work-family conflict and well-being among employed women in Malaysia: The roles of coping and work-family facilitation (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8840
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8840
As the numbers of employed women, single-parent households, and dual-earner families are increasing, women are no longer confined to their traditional gender roles. Women’s participation in work and family domains indicates their struggles in juggling multiple roles and incompatible demands from both domains. Under these circumstances, they may experience conflict between work and family domains. However, women’s involvement in multiple roles may also result in benefits that can outweigh the costs associated with work-family conflict, and this is known as work-family facilitation. Work-family facilitation has received less attention in the literature than work-family conflict. Most research in the work-family literature has examined work-family conflict and work-family facilitation separately. Furthermore, most studies that examine work-family facilitation investigated the antecedents, effects, and its mediating role. Little emphasis has been placed on the moderating role of work-family facilitation. The present study was conducted among single and married employed women in Malaysia. Although they are the breadwinners of the family alongside the men, Malaysian women place their roles as wives and mothers above other roles (Hossain, Roopnarine, Ismail, Hashmi, & Sombuling, 2007). Due to different cultural traditions, societal values, work ethos, and family structures between Malaysia and Western countries, the findings from Western literature cannot be simply generalised to Malaysians. The present research involved a non-experimental two-wave design with a six- to eight-month time interval. Self-report surveys were obtained from 740 employed women at Time 1 and 210 at Time 2 from six industry types in Malaysia. Multivariate analysis was used to assess the direct effects of work-family conflict, coping, and work-family facilitation on well-being (social dysfunction, anxiety/depression, intention to leave, intention to stay, job satisfaction, family satisfaction, and life satisfaction). Hierarchical regression was also used to examine the moderating effects of coping and work-family facilitation on the relationships between work-family conflict and well-being. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to test the mediating effect of work-family facilitation on the relationship between work-family conflict and well-being. The cross-sectional and longitudinal findings of this study confirmed the findings in Western literature on the direct effects of work-family conflict and work-family facilitation on well-being, except for the positive association of FWC behaviour and family satisfaction at Time 1. While the other types of coping were related to increased well-being, high escape-avoidance at Times 1 and 2 in this study was associated with high anxiety/depression in the cross-sectional data. No longitudinal direct effect of coping on well-being was found. The cross-sectional findings of this study indicated very weak support for the moderating effects of coping and work-family facilitation on the relationship between work-family conflict and well-being. There were minimal interactions between coping and work-family conflict on intention to stay over time, and the interactions were not as hypothesised. This study also found some cross-sectional mediating roles of work-family facilitation on the relationship of work-family conflict and well-being among employed women in Malaysia. The cross-sectional findings indicated that work-family facilitation variables serve better as mediators than moderators. Both work-to-family facilitation (WFF) and family-to-work facilitation (FWF) mediated the relationship of family-to-work conflict (FWC) time and social dysfunction, intention to leave, intention to stay, job satisfaction, family satisfaction, and life satisfaction at Time 1. At time 2, WFF mediated the relationships of work-to-family conflict (WFC) strain and behaviour and FWC (strain and behaviour) and social dysfunction, family satisfaction, and life satisfaction, whereas FWF only mediated the relationship between FWC behaviour and family satisfaction. Although WFF mediated the relationship of FWC behaviour and intention to leave, and FWF mediated the relationship between WFC time and intention to leave over time, the relationships were not as hypothesised. This research makes some theoretical contributions and expands the landscape of work-family literature by examining the roles of work-family facilitation as a moderator and mediator of the relationship between different directions and types of work-family conflict and well-being, in both cross-sectional and longitudinal models. Additionally, this study provides useful information on the different types of coping strategies as moderators in the work-family model tested, and its application to the Malaysian culture. The findings may help the human resource practitioners understand how work-family conflict and facilitation, together with coping strategies, influenced employees’ well-being. Implications of the research are discussed and recommendations for future research are included.
University of Waikato
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