English title: Work and Well-being in a Comparative Perspective – The Role of Family Policy

Author(s): Katarina Boye -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2011


The present study investigates whether associations between well-being and paid work and housework, respectively, differ between European family policy models, and whether any such differences can be attributed to differences in the experience of work–family conflict. Analysing data on mothers and fathers in 18 European countries, the study finds that the traditional family policy model shows the most positive association between women’s well-being and paid working hours, although this association is concealed by work–family conflict. Possibly, the selection into long paid working hours of women with rewarding jobs is greater here than elsewhere. Women’s housework hours are also most positively associated with well-being in the traditional model, although well-being decreases when housework hours become too long. In the market-oriented model, women’s paid working hours and housework hours are instead associated with decreasing well-being, the former association appearing to be caused by work–family conflict. The strongest positive association between men’s paid working hours and well-being is found in the market-oriented model, but again, control for work–family conflict reveals positive associations in this and other models. Hence, among both mothers and fathers, work–family conflict appears to be one important reason why paid working hours are not more clearly associated with high levels of well-being.

Volume: 27

Issue: 1

From page no: 16

To page no: 30

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/ESR/JCP051

Journal: European Sociological Review

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