Finding Time Over Time: Longitudinal Links Between Employed Mothers' Work-Family Conflict and Time Profiles

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Journal of Family Psychology

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Drawing upon the Work–Home Resources model (ten Brummelhuis & Bakker, 2012), this study examined the links between work–family conflict and employed mothers’ profiles of time resources for work and parenting roles. Using a person-centered latent profile approach, we identified 3 profiles of time use and perceived time adequacy in a sample of mothers employed in the extended-care industry (N = 440): a Work-Oriented profile, characterized by spending relatively more time at work, perceiving lower time adequacy for work, spending less time with children, and perceiving lower time adequacy for children; a Parenting-Oriented profile, characterized by the opposite pattern; and a Role-Balanced profile, characterized by average levels across the 4 dimensions. Mothers in the Work-Oriented profile reported greater work-to-family conflict and family to-work conflict than those in the Role-Balanced and Parenting-Oriented profiles. Greater work-to-family conflict was linked to membership in the Work-Oriented profile, net of personal, family, and work characteristics. Longitudinal latent profile transition analysis showed that increases in work-to-family conflict across 12 months were linked to greater odds of moving toward the Work-Oriented profile (relative to staying in the same profile), whereas decreases in work-to-family conflict were linked to greater odds of moving toward the Parenting-Oriented profile. Results illuminate the heterogeneity in how employed mothers perceive and allocate time in work and parenting roles and suggest that decreasing work-to-family conflict may preserve time resources for parenting. Intervention efforts should address ways of increasing employees’ family time resources and decreasing work–family conflict.



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