Work-family conflict across the lifespan

Ann Huffman, Satoris S. Culbertson, Jaime B. Henning, Adrian Goh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Purpose: Research on work-family conflict has primarily focused on younger workers, with little attention being paid to workers across the lifespan. To address this gap, the current study aimed to examine work-family conflict for individuals aged 18 to 70, focusing on explanations for why age is differentially related to work-family conflict at different points in one's life. Design/methodology/approach: Hypotheses were tested using data from two independent samples of working adults from the National Study of the Changing Workforce (n=3,552 and 2,852, respectively). Findings: The results supported a curvilinear relationship, with youngest and oldest workers having the fewest conflicting demands between work and home. Further, the results demonstrated that family satisfaction and the age of the youngest child help explain why these workers are less likely to experience family interference with work. Finally, work hours were found to mediate the relationship between age and work interference with family. Originality/value: One of the most substantial demographic transformations in the general population involves the aging of the workforce. This is one of the first papers to examine and provide insight into why age is related to work-family conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-780
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013


  • Age groups
  • Attitudes
  • Work family issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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