, Volume 28, Issue 9-10, pp 531-552

Nonwork-to-work spillover: A more balanced view of the experiences and coping of professional women and men

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A more balanced view of nonwork-to-work spillover was advanced here. The concentration of research on the negative side may serve to support some damaging assumptions about professional women. A sample of 221 experienced managers indicated how parenting, community work, and recreation affected work both positively and negatively, and the extent they used certain coping strategies. Women comprised 35% of the sample and ethnic minorities comprised 18%. The managers agreed more strongly with statements about positive nonwork-to-work spillover than with those about the negative side. Women and men reported largely the same levels of nonwork involvement, time commitment, satisfaction, positive spillover, and use of the coping strategies. Compared to men, women did report lower negative spillover overall, and greater use of the strategies when they were parents. The findings suggest that employers should be less concerned with how active women are in nonwork, and more concerned with how well both men and women manage their various life domains.

This research was supported by a grant from the National Centre for Management Research and Development, Canada.