Buffering Work-Family Conflict
Many conflicts can arise between work and family when family members find themselves trying to balance all of the responsibilities of taking care of their family and the various responsibilities that employers place on them at the same time. Often times stress is one of the largest conflicts as it affects the family member's and the worker's well being (Walen, 2002, p. 31). Take for example a work stress that produces marital conflict or a parent that does not have child care and therefore have higher rates of absenteeism. These are examples of the conflict that can arise when trying to balance both work and family.
There are some buffers however to help eliminate or at least reduce the conflict that can arise or the spillover of one piece of a person's life into the other. Some individuals do not make their home number available to their workplace in order to reduce the extent to which work intrudes on their family life (Walen, 2002, p. 32). By trying to keep work and family separate people hope to achieve a greater balance in each area. For example, a person who tries to limit the interaction will often "leave work at work" meaning that upon exiting their job, they no longer think about work and do not allow issues at work in interrupt their personal home life. Additionally, they will try to "leave home at home" meaning that home issues stay at home. These people can be described as turning their feelings off when going from one area of their live to another.
Additionally, the number of parents within a family, whether extended family members live nearby, the number of children in the family and their ages are all aspects of family composition that can help reduce conflicts as well. When a family has more than one parent, that is one more responsible adult to help take some of the brunt of the responsibilities. Additionally, when extended family members live nearby, they are able to help carry some of the weight as well....
References: Walen, J. (2002). Balancing Work and Family: The Role of the Workplace. Allyn and Bacon.
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