Work-Family Conflict and Care-Career Values: Subjective Well-Being of Employed Lone Mothers in Europe

English title: Work-Family Conflict and Care-Career Values: Subjective Well-Being of Employed Lone Mothers in Europe

Author(s): Torill Bull - Maurice B. Mittelmark -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2007


Introduction. This study investigated main and interaction effects of work-family conflict and values on the subjective well-being of employed lone mothers. Methods. Sample was 484 employed lone mothers from 17 European nations. Data were provided by the European Social Survey 2 (NSD/ESS 2005). Work-family conflict was measured bi-directionally. Subjective well-being was measured as life satisfaction and level of positive mood. Value variable was a calculated score for the relative importance of care values versus career values. Main analyses were done by ANOVAs. Results. Both directions of work-family conflict were found to have main effects on positive mood and on life satisfaction. After controlling for financial hardship and social capital, the effect of work-family conflict on life satisfaction lost significance. Career-oriented mothers reported lower life satisfaction than care-oriented mothers. Value orientation did not moderate the effect of work-family conflict on subjective well-being. Precursors to work-family conflict were time shortness and childcare adequacy.Discussion. The independent variables had different impacts on the cognitive and mood elements of well-being. Work-family conflict influenced mood, while values influenced the cognitive element. The finding that care-oriented lone mothers reported higher life satisfaction might be explained by the great care load of lone mothers. Financial hardship was the strongest predictor of subjective well-being. This study thus supported previous research reporting that lone mothers in Europe are under an economic pressure that might compromise their subjective well-being. The study also suggested large differences in positive mood and life satisfaction means between lone mothers in different European nations.

Conference name: The 19th IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Start date: Jun 10, 2007

Type: Poster

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