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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Work-family role strain among employed mothers of preschoolers: the impact of workplace support Warren, Jennifer A.


This study examined the impact of work demands and workplace support on perceived work-family role strain of employed mothers with preschool age children in group daycare. Structural and psychological work demands were investigated. Components of workplace support included organizational culture, supervisor support, and family-oriented benefits offered by the workplace. The relationship between available family-oriented benefits and the use of family-oriented benefits was also assessed. In addition, moderating effects of supervisor support were investigated. The sample was recruited through licensed group daycare centers in Vancouver. Questionnaires were left at 45 daycare centers and participants were asked to return their completed questionnaires to the School of Family and Nutritional Sciences in the stamped, self addressed envelope provided. Eligible participants were mothers who were employed outside the home in position where they had an immediate supervisor, manager or boss. The respondents were 116 women who met the eligibility requirements and completed the questionnaire. The major findings of this study were that work-family role strain was associated with psychological work demands, work environment support, supervisor flexibility, and the desire to use family-oriented benefits. The results also showed that the number and percentage of family-oriented benefits used were related to the number of available family-oriented benefits. In addition, respondents were more likely to use family-oriented benefits under nonsupportive conditions. Although it was expected that supervisor support would moderate the relationship between work demands and work-family role strain, and the relationship between use of benefits and work-family role strain, the results of this study did not provide support for either prediction.

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