Work-Oriented Men and Women: Similar Levels of Work-Family Conflict and Guilt yet Different Coping Strategies

Cátia Sousa, Katherina Kuschel, Ana Brito, Gabriela Gonçalves

Abstract


Balancing family and professional roles has become one of the challenges of the twenty-first century. This exploratory study aims to analyse the guilt, losses, aspirations and difficulties associated with work-family interaction and the career centrality of men and women, as well as their strategies to cope with work-family conflict. Using questionnaire and interview data of 73 Portuguese participants (41 men and 32 women), we showed that the women experienced the most guilt and loss and greater difficulties in balancing family and professional life. Yet contrary to the literature, the women in this sample assigned great importance to their career (even higher than men), but they felt that their potential for success at work was constrained due to the family demands. Prioritizing family over work gives work-centered women a sense of sacrifice, loss and guilt.


Keywords


work-family centrality; work-family guilt; work-family conflict; coping strategies; gender

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