What about Us? Measuring the Work-Life Balance of People Who Do Not Have Children

Julie A. Waumsley, Diane M. Houston, Gillian Marks


To date, the work-family literature has examined conflict between work and family and family and work. In this research the use of the word “family” usually denotes child-care responsibilities. Furthermore, scales developed to measure conflict have concentrated on a family structure defined in this way. Little is known about conflict between work and non-work experienced by people who do not live within a family structure that includes children. The aim of this paper is to examine whether existing work-family and family-work conflict measures might be adapted to measure work-life conflict and life-work conflict for full-time female workers (N = 940) with and without children. Results suggest that a work-family conflict scale may not adequately measure the conflicts experienced by people who do not live within a family structure that involves children. The implications of these findings are further discussed with suggestions concerning the feasibility of using a generic work-life scale to measure work-life balance and a specific work-family scale to measure work-family balance.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/res.v2n2p3

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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