Theses Doctoral

The mediating role of family-work conflict on the relationship between family and work domain variables and employment trade-offs

Liberman, Benjamin Ezekiel

Employment trade-offs are defined as the sacrifices that employees make in their job because of their family/dependent care responsibilities (Mennino & Brayfield, 2002). They represent an employee's decision to restrict their work responsibilities and devote their time and attention to their family when time and attention cannot be given to both their work and family responsibilities. Research on employment trade-offs has been primarily theoretical and qualitative, with the few empirical studies primarily examining demographic and attitudinal correlates to an employee's decision to participate in employment trade-offs without considering the mediating mechanisms between these variables and employment trade-offs. This dissertation extended the literature on employment trade-offs by examining family-work conflict as a mediator of the relationship between family and work domain variables and an employee's decision to engage in employment trade-offs among Federal government employees. This study also investigated the relationship of participating in employment trade-offs to workplace withdrawal behaviors, family-friendly benefit utilization, and turnover intentions. The family domain variables include dependent care responsibilities and childcare characteristics, while the work domain variables include organizational supports. The 2006 Federal Employee Dependent Care Survey (U. S. Office of Personnel Management, 2006) was analyzed and hypotheses were tested using both multiple regression and logistic regression analyses. The results showed that family-work conflict partially mediated the relationship between the variables of type of care responsibilities, perceived job schedule flexibility, childcare arrangement satisfaction, childcare quality, and childcare costs and employment trade-offs. Multigenerational caregiving responsibilities, number of dependents, and supervisor support were not related to family-work conflict and no mediation effect for family-work conflict was established between these variables and employment trade-offs. Analyses also found that family-work conflict was positively related to employment trade-offs, workplace withdrawal behaviors, and family-friendly benefit utilization. In addition, employment trade-offs were positively related to workplace withdrawal behaviors and family-friendly benefit utilization, suggesting that individuals do implement a variety of family adaptive strategies to manage competing work and family demands. Finally, employment trade-offs were found to be positively related to turnover intentions. Contributions to the work-family literature, implications for practice, future research directions, and limitations of the study are discussed.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social-Organizational Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Roberson, Loriann
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 1, 2012