Title

When work and family are in conflict: impact on psychological strain experienced by social workers in Australia

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Kalliath, P, Hughes, M & Newcombe, P 2012, 'When work and family are in conflict: impact on psychological strain experienced by social workers in Australia', Australian Social Work, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 355-371.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2011.625035

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The impact of workplace stress and the need for work-life balance are increasingly recognised within social work. Recent theorising on work–family interface suggests that work-related stress cannot be contained within the workplace without it impacting on other life domains such as the family. Similarly, it is claimed that family-related issues also affect what happens at work. The present study examined the impact of different forms of work-to-family conflict (WFC) and family-to-work conflict (FWC) on social workers' psychological strain. An online survey of Australian Association of Social Workers members yielded a final sample of 439 responses. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses examining the direct effects of work–family conflict on psychological strain showed that respondents experienced all three forms of WFC (time, behaviour, and strain) and two forms of FWC (strain and behaviour), and these were significantly associated with psychological strain. These findings may be useful in developing strategies that aim to reduce conflict, thereby enabling social workers to make meaningful contributions in their work and family lives.