Work-family conflict (WFC) arises when an individual’s work and family demands become
incompatible, making participation in both difficult, and it has been linked to a variety of
negative consequences such as increased job stress and decreased organizational commitment
and job performance. The amount of WFC individuals expect before entering the workforce,
called anticipated work-family conflict (AWFC), is important because it may influence their
career and life choices. While researchers have found conflicting results regarding the effect of
gender on anticipated work-family conflict, little to no research has been done to study the effect
that feminization across occupations – the extent to which each occupation is typically
dominated by female employees – has on anticipated work-family conflict levels. This study
investigates the effect of feminization across occupations on AWFC levels for students at the
University of Minnesota Medical School. Although I did not find that the level of feminization of
occupation had a significant effect on AWFC, I did find that self-efficacy was a strong predictor
of both time-based and strain-based AWFC. In addition, not having a father present during late
childhood and adolescence was also a predictor of strain-based AWFC. Having a better
understanding of what students’ expectations for work-family conflict are when they first begin
their career path could help managers develop more effective policies that allow employees to
have the best work-life balance possible within their careers.
Key words: anticipated work-family conflict, AWFC, gender, feminization, masculinization,
self-efficacy, family background
The Effect of Feminization Across Occupations on Anticipated Work-Family Conflict.
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