A cross-national meta-analytic examination of predictors and outcomes associated with work–family conflict

Through the lens of boundary theory, we systematically examined cultural context as a moderator of relationships between work-family conflict and its key theoretical predictors (work/family hours and work/family demands) and outcomes (job satisfaction, family satisfaction, and life satisfaction). We used 2 different approaches to examine cultural variation in the strength of work-family conflict relationships: (a) individual cultural values (collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance); and (b) regional cluster configurations (e.g., Eastern Europe, South Asia). Our meta-analytic investigation is based on data drawn from 332 studies (2,733 effect sizes) that represent 58 different countries. Consistent with prediction, results revealed that collectivism moderated WIF/FIW and satisfaction outcomes such that relationships were weaker in more collectivistic contexts than in less collectivistic contexts. Little evidence was found to support power distance or uncertainty avoidance as individual cultural moderators. Findings also indicated that work-family conflict relationships differ in strength as a function of regional clusters, lending support to the use of configural approaches to examine cross-cultural variation. Overall, our findings suggest that domain demands are a robust predictor of work-family conflict across countries and that affective correlates to work-family conflict meaningfully vary in strength as a function of cultural context.

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