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Work-family conflict and enrichment: Direct and indirect effects towards mental health outcomes

There have been calls in the work-family literature for greater attention to moderation effects. Further, the established work-family conflict approach has expanded to include work-family enrichment. Consequently, the present study explores the interaction effects between work and family conflict and enrichment towards mental health outcomes which are explored throughout three different studies. Study one uses a sample of 314 random New Zealand employees across a diverse range of industries and sectors to explore the work-family interface towards outcomes of emotional exhaustion, depression, cynicism and anxiety. Study two uses a sample of 146 random New Zealand business owners and entrepreneurs to explore the work-family interface towards the well-being of entrepreneurs, and specifically mental health outcomes of anxiety, emotional exhaustion and stress are investigated. Study three uses a sample of 266 New Zealand dual-earning couples to explore the work-family interface as predictors of job burnout. Specifically two dimensions of job burnout are investigated - emotional exhaustion and cynicism. Furthermore, the study explores the cross-over effect where males and females conflict and enrichment crosses over to the other's job burnout. Using these samples we find strong support for work-family and family-work conflict positively influencing mental health, and work-family and family-work enrichment negatively influencing mental health outcomes. In addition, a number of consistent interaction effects were found especially between family-work conflict and family-work enrichment. Overall, enrichment was found to consistently buffer some dimension of work-family conflict, indicating that employees who are enriched may be able to alleviate the negative influences of their work and family roles. The implications for research and organizations are discussed, as well as future directions for the work-family field.
Type of thesis
Lewis, J. B. (2010). Work-family conflict and enrichment: Direct and indirect effects towards mental health outcomes (Thesis, Master of Management Studies (MMS)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4989
The University of Waikato
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