Managing inter-role conflict: Do avoidance strategies help or hurt?

Bonnie Hayden Cheng, Julie M. McCarthy

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

This research extends work-family conflict literature by considering the roles that psychological detachment, consistent with the work recovery literature, and avoidance-focused coping, consistent with the coping literature, play in the management of inter-role conflict. Inter-role conflict has consistently been found to be negatively related to life satisfaction. The work recovery and coping literatures suggest similar strategies to offset this negative relation, albeit with opposite effects. Drawing from the work recovery literature, psychologically detaching oneself from role demands is predicted to be an adaptive strategy. Drawing from the coping literature, avoidance-focused coping is predicted to be a maladaptive strategy. The primary goal of the present study was to examine the potential paradox across these two literatures by simultaneously examining these two strategies in 304 individuals who were faced with the challenge of balancing work, family, and school responsibilities. Participants completed questionnaires at two times, separated by one month. Confirmatory factor analysis provided support for the distinctiveness of the two constructs. Further, the result supported a moderating role for psychological detachment in the relation between inter-role conflict and life satisfaction, but not avoidance-focused coping. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management 2010 Annual Meeting - Dare to Care: Passion and Compassion in Management Practice and Research, AOM 2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event70th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Dare to Care: Passion and Compassion in Management Practice and Research, AOM 2010 - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: 6 Aug 201010 Aug 2010

Conference

Conference70th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Dare to Care: Passion and Compassion in Management Practice and Research, AOM 2010
CountryCanada
CityMontreal, QC
Period6/08/1010/08/10

Keywords

  • Coping
  • Work recovery
  • Work-life balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Industrial relations

Cite this