Remember the Children, Honey! Spouses' Gender-Role Attitudes and Working Mothers' Work-to-Family Conflict

Steiner, Rebekka S.; Krings, Franciska; Wiese, Bettina (2018). Remember the Children, Honey! Spouses' Gender-Role Attitudes and Working Mothers' Work-to-Family Conflict. Applied psychology - an international review, 68(2), pp. 250-275. Blackwell Publishing 10.1111/apps.12160

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Work-to-family conflict (WFC) is a pressing issue for many working parents, in particular for working mothers, and hence, understanding the factors that contribute to WFC is important. We examined gender-role attitudes as antecedents of working mothers’ WFC, focusing on both working mothers’ own and their husbands’ gender-role attitudes. Building on cognitive dissonance theory and crossover research, we assumed that working mothers who hold more traditional gender-role attitudes or who live with a husband who holds more traditional gender-role attitudes experience more WFC. Additionally, we assumed that the strength of these effects further depends on mothers’ workload and the age of their children. We tested our hypotheses with several waves of recent data of 222 dual-earner couples, drawn from a representative sample of the Swiss Household Panel. Results showed that working mothers experienced more WFC if they held more traditional gender-role attitudes, but only if they had a high workload. Working mothers also experienced more WFC if their husbands held more traditional gender-role attitudes, however, independently of mothers’ workload or age of the children. These results suggest that both spouses’ gender-role attitudes influence working mothers’ WFC, albeit in somewhat different ways.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Steiner, Rebekka Simone


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Blackwell Publishing


[42] Schweizerischer Nationalfonds




Rebekka Simone Steiner

Date Deposited:

30 Apr 2019 13:01

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 19:32

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

work-to-family conflict, gender-role attitudes, dual-earner couples, working mothers, Swiss Household Panel




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