We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.


Emotional Support Makes the Difference: Work-Family Conflict and Employment Related Guilt Among Employed Mothers

  • 467 Accesses


In the present study we aimed to investigate the role of social support, particularly emotional support, on work-family conflict (WFC) and employment-related guilt among employed mothers. Achieving an optimal work-family balance is difficult, especially for employed mothers with young children. Previous research has found support to be a key factor in helping to alleviate conflict. However, determining which types of support are most beneficial is an important issue to be investigated. Using path analysis, we examined the effect of three sources of social support—emotional spousal support, emotional supervisory support, and instrumental spousal support—on WFC and employment-related guilt. Voluntary domestic support, paid domestic support, and number of children were control variables. Data were collected from 201 employed Turkish mothers who have at least one child below the age of 10. Participants were between 25 and 47 years-old (M = 33.6, SD = 4.4). Spousal and supervisory emotional support were significant predictors of WFC for employed mothers. Moreover, supervisory support was a significant predictor of employment-related guilt. Implications of the results are discussed with reference to cultural context, and recommendations are provided for professionals in the field.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Abdullah, A. (1996). Going global: Cultural dimensions in Malaysian management. Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Institute of Management.

  2. Acitelli, L. K., & Antonucci, T. C. (1994). Gender differences in the link between marital support and satisfaction in older couples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(4), 688–698. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.67.4.688.

  3. Adams, G. A., King, L. A., & King, D. W. (1996). Relationships of job and family involvement, family social support, and work–family conflict with job and life satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81(4), 411–420. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.81.4.411.

  4. Adkins, C. L., & Premeaux, S. F. (2012). Spending time: The impact of hours worked on work–family conflict. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(2), 380–389. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2011.09.003.

  5. Alison, C. (2009). Connecting work-family policies to supportive work environments. Group and Organization Management, 34(2), 206–240. https://doi.org/10.1177/1059601108330091.

  6. Allen, S. M., Goldscheider, F., & Ciambrone, D. A. (1999). Gender roles, marital intimacy, and nomination of spouse as primary caregiver. The Gerontologist, 39(2), 150–158. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/39.2.150.

  7. Álvarez, B., & Miles, D. (2006). Husbands' housework time: Does wives' paid employment make a difference? Investigaciones Economicas, 30(1), 5–31.

  8. Aryee, S., Luk, V., Leung, A., & Lo, S. (1999). Role stressors, interrole conflict, and well-being: The moderating influence of spousal support and coping behaviors among employed parents in Hong Kong. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 54(2), 259–278. https://doi.org/10.1006/jvbe.1998.1667.

  9. Ataca, B. (2009). Turkish family structure and functioning. In S. Bekman & A. Aksu-Koc (Eds.), Perspectives on human development, family, and culture (pp. 108–125). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  10. Ataca, B., & Sunar, D. (1999). Continuity and change in Turkish urban family life. Psychology and Developing Societies, 11(1), 77–90. https://doi.org/10.1177/097133369901100104.

  11. Aycan, Z. (2008). Cross-cultural approaches to work-family conflict. In K. Korabik, D. S. Lero, & D. L. Whitehead (Eds.), Handbook of work-family integration: Research, theory and best practices (pp. 353–370). Boston: Academic Press.

  12. Aycan, Z., & Eskin, M. (2005). Relative contributions of childcare, spousal support, and organizational support in reducing work–family conflict for men and women: The case of Turkey. Sex Roles, 53(7–8), 453–471. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-005-7134-8.

  13. Bacharach, S. B., Bamberger, P., & Conley, S. (1991). Work-home conflict among nurses and engineers: Mediating the impact of role stress on burnout and satisfaction at work. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 12(1), 39–53. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.4030120104.

  14. Bennett, M. M., Beehr, T. A., & Ivanitskaya, L. V. (2017). Work-family conflict: Differences across generations and life cycles. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 32(4), 314–332. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-06-2016-0192.

  15. Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107(2), 238–246. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.107.2.238.

  16. Berkowitz, A. D., & Perkins, H. W. (1984). Stress among farm women: Work and family as interacting systems. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46, 161–166. https://doi.org/10.2307/351874.

  17. Beutell, N. J. (2010). Work schedule, work schedule control and satisfaction in relation to work-family conflict, work-family synergy, and domain satisfaction. Career Development International, 15(5), 501–518. https://doi.org/10.1108/13620431011075358.

  18. Beutell, N. J., & Greenhaus, J. H. (1980). Some sources and consequences of interrole conflict among married women. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Academy of Management, 17, 2–6.

  19. Bianchi, S. M., Milkie, M. A., Sayer, L. C., & Robinson, J. P. (2000). Is anyone doing the housework? Trends in the gender division of household labor. Social Forces, 79(1), 191–228. https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/79.1.191.

  20. Bianchi, S. M., Robinson, J. P., & Milkie, M. A. (2006). Changing rhythms of American family life. New York: Russell Sage.

  21. Biehle, S. N., & Mickelson, K. D. (2012). Provision and receipt of emotional spousal support: The impact of visibility on well-being. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 1(3), 244–251. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0028480.

  22. Blanch, A., & Aluja, A. (2012). Social support (family and supervisor), work–family conflict, and burnout: Sex differences. Human Relations, 65(7), 811–833. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726712440471.

  23. Borelli, J. L., Nelson, S. K., & River, L. R. (2014). Pomona work and family assessment (Unpublished document). Pomona College, Claremont, CA.

  24. Borelli, J. L., Nelson, S. K., River, L. M., Birken, S. A., & Moss-Racusin, C. (2017). Gender differences in work-family guilt in parents of young children. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 76(5–6), 356–368. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-016-0579-0.

  25. Burke, R. J. (1988). Some antecedents of work-family conflict. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 3(4), 287–302.

  26. Burke, R. J., & Greenglass, E. R. (1999). Work–family conflict, spouse support, and nursing staff well-being during organizational restructuring. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 4(4), 327–336. https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8998.4.4.327.

  27. Byrne, B. M. (2001). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, applications and programming. Mahwah: Erlbaum.

  28. Campbell-Clark, S. (2001). Work cultures and work/family balance. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 58, 348–365. https://doi.org/10.1006/jvbe.2000.1759.

  29. Carlson, D. S., Grzywacz, J. G., & Zivnuska, S. (2009). Is work—family balance more than conflict and enrichment? Human Relations, 62(10), 1459–1486. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726709336500.

  30. Cartwright, L. K. (1978). Career satisfaction and role harmony in a sample of young women physicians. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 12(2), 184–196. https://doi.org/10.1016/0001-8791(78)90033-7.

  31. Cheal, D. J. (1991). Family and the state of theory. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

  32. Chenot, D., Benton, A. D., & Kim, H. (2009). The influence of supervisor support, peer support, and organizational culture among early career social workers in child welfare services. Child Welfare, 88(5), 129–147.

  33. Chong, A., & Mickelson, K. D. (2016). Perceived fairness and relationship satisfaction during the transition to parenthood: The mediating role of spousal support. Journal of Family Issues, 37(1), 3–28. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X13516764.

  34. Crompton, R., & Lyonette, C. (2006). Work-life “balance” in Europe. Acta Sociologica, 49(4), 379–393. https://doi.org/10.1177/0001699306071680.

  35. Dutton, J. E., Dukerich, J. M., & Harquail, C. V. (1994). Organizational images and member identification. Administrative Science Quarterly, 39(2), 39–263. https://doi.org/10.2307/2393235.

  36. Eagly, A. H., Wood, W., & Diekman, A. B. (2000). Social role theory of sex differences and similarities: A current appraisal. In T. Eckes & H. M. Trautner (Eds.), The developmental social psychology of gender (pp. 123–174). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

  37. Eby, L. T., Casper, W. J., Lockwood, A., Bordeaux, C., & Brinley, A. (2005). A retrospective on work and family research in IO/OB: A content analysis and review of the literature (1980–2002). Journal of Vocational Behavior, 66(1), 124–197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2003.11.003.

  38. Eken, H. (2006). Toplumsal cinsiyet olgusu tcmelinde mesle|e ilicldn rol ile aile ici rol etkileçimi: Turk Silahli Kuwetlerindeki kadm subaylar. [Occupational and domestic role interaction among female officers in Turkish Armed Forces on the basis of gender]. Selçuk University, Journal of Social Sciences, 15, 247–278.

  39. Ely, R. J., Stone, P., & Ammerman, C. (2014). Rethink what you “know” about high-achieving women. Harvard Business Review, 92(12), 100–109.

  40. Erickson, R. J. (1993). Reconceptualizing family work: The effect of emotion work on perceptions of marital quality. Journal of Marriage and Family, 55(4), 888–900. https://doi.org/10.2307/352770.

  41. Ferguson, M., Carlson, D., Zivnuska, S., & Whitten, D. (2012). Support at work and home: The path to satisfaction through balance. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(2), 299–307. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2012.01.001.

  42. Fletcher, J. K., & Bailyn, L. (2005). The equity imperative: Redesigning work for work-family integration. In E. E. Kossek & S. J. Lambert (Eds.), LEA's organization and management series. Work and life integration: Organizational, cultural, and individual perspectives (pp. 171–189). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

  43. Frone, M. R., & Yardley, J. K. (1996). Workplace family-supportive programmes: Predictors of employed parents' importance ratings. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 69(4), 351–366. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8325.1996.tb00621.x.

  44. Frone, M. R., Russell, M., & Cooper, M. L. (1992). Antecedents and outcomes of work-family conflict: Testing a model of the work-family interface. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77(1), 65–78. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.77.1.65.

  45. Frone, M. R., Russell, M., & Cooper, M. L. (1997). Relation of work–family conflict to health outcomes: A four year longitudinal study of employed parents. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 70(4), 325–335. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8325.1997.tb00652.x.

  46. Galinsky, E., & Hughes, D. (1987). The Fortune magazine child care study. Paper presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, New York, NY.

  47. Galinsky, E., & Stein, P. J. (1990). The impact of human resource policies on employees: Balancing work/family life. Journal of Family Issues, 11(4), 368–383. https://doi.org/10.1177/019251390011004002.

  48. Galovan, A. M., Fackrell, T., Buswell, L., Jones, B. L., Hill, E. J., & Carroll, S. J. (2010). The work–family interface in the United States and Singapore: Conflict across cultures. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(5), 646–656. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0020832.

  49. Ganster, D. C., Fusilier, M., & Mayes, B. (1986). The role of social support in the experience of stress at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 102–110. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.71.1.102.

  50. Golden-Biddle, K., & Rao, H. (1997). Breaches in the boardroom: Organizational identity and conflicts of commitment in a nonprofit organization. Organization Science, 8(6), 593–611. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.8.6.593.

  51. Greenberger, E., & O’Neil, R. (1993). Spouse, parent, worker: Role commitments and role-related experiences in the construction of adults’ well-being. Developmental Psychology, 29(2), 181–197. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.29.2.181.

  52. Greenhaus, J. H., & Kopelman, R. E. (1981). Conflict between work and nonwork roles: Implications for the career planning process. Human Resource Planning, 4(1), 1–10.

  53. Greenhaus, J. H., Bedeian, A. G., & Mossholder, K. W. (1987). Work experiences, job performance, and feelings of personal and family well-being. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 31(2), 200–215. https://doi.org/10.1016/0001-8791(87)90057-1.

  54. Griggs, T. L., Casper, W. J., & Eby, L. T. (2013). Work, family and community support as predictors of work–family conflict: A study of low-income workers. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 82(1), 59–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2012.11.006.

  55. Grzywacz, J. G., & Marks, N. F. (2000). Reconceptualizing the work–family interface: An ecological perspective on the correlates of positive and negative spillover between work and family. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 5(1), 111–126. https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8998.5.1.111.

  56. Guendouzi, J. (2006). “The guilt thing”: Balancing domestic and professional roles. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68(4), 901–909. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2006.00303.x.

  57. Günay, G., & Bener, Ö. (2011). Perception of family life in frame of gender roles of women. TSA, 15(3), 157–171.

  58. Gutek, B. A., Nakamura, C. Y., & Nieva, V. F. (1981). The interdependence of work and family roles. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.4030020102.

  59. Gutek, B. A., Searle, S., & Klepa, L. (1991). Rational versus gender role explanations for work-family conflict. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76(4), 560–568. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.76.4.560.

  60. Hagqvist, E., Gådin, K. G., & Nordenmark, M. (2017). Work–family conflict and well-being across Europe: The role of gender context. Social Indicators Research, 132(2), 785–797. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-016-1301-x.

  61. Heffner, K. L., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Loving, T. J., Glaser, R., & Malarkey, W. B. (2004). Spousal support satisfaction as a modifier of physiological responses to marital conflict in younger and older couples. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 27(3), 233–254. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOBM.0000028497.79129.ad.

  62. Herman, J. B., & Gyllstrom, K. K. (1977). Working men and women: Inter-and intra-role conflict. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 1(4), 319–333. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.1977.tb00558.x.

  63. Hobfoll, S. E. (1989). Conservation of resources: A new attempt at conceptualizing stress. American Psychologist, 44(3), 513–524. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.44.3.513.

  64. Hochschild, A. (1989). The second shift: Working parents and the revolution at home. New York: Viking.

  65. Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

  66. Holahan, C. K., & Gilbert, L. A. (1979). Conflict between major life roles: Women and men in dual career couples. Human Relations, 32(6), 451–467. https://doi.org/10.1177/001872677903200602.

  67. Holcomb, B. (1998). Not guilty: The good news about working mothers. New York: Scribner.

  68. Husaini, B. A., Neff, J. A., Newbrough, J. R., & Moore, M. C. (1982). The stress-buffering role of social support and personal competence among the rural married. Journal of Community Psychology, 10(4), 409–426. https://doi.org/10.1002/1520-6629(198210)10:4<409::AID-JCOP2290100410>3.0.CO;2-D.

  69. İmamoğlu, O. (1991). Changing intra-family roles in a changing world. Paper presented at the Seminar on the Individual, the Family and the Society in a Changing World, Istanbul, Turkey

  70. Judge, T. A., Ilies, R., & Scott, B. A. (2006). Work–family conflict and emotions: Effects at work and at home. Personnel Psychology, 59(4), 779–814. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2006.00054.x.

  71. Jun, P., Hanpo, H., Ruiyang, M., & Jinyan, S. (2017). The effect of psychological capital between work-family conflict and job burnout in Chinese university teachers: Testing for mediation and moderation. Journal of Health Psychology, 22(14), 1799–1807. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105316636950.

  72. Kagitcibasi, C. (2005). Autonomy and relatedness in cultural context: Implications for self and family. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 36(4), 403–422. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022105275959.

  73. Kaplan, M. M. (1992). Mothers' images of motherhood: Case studies of twelve mothers. New York: Taylor & Francis.

  74. Kaufmann, G. M., & Beehr, T. A. (1989). Occupational stressors, individual strains, and social supports among police officers. Human Relations, 42(2), 185–197. https://doi.org/10.1177/001872678904200205.

  75. Keith, P. M., & Schafer, R. B. (1980). Role strain and depression in two-job families. Family Relations, 29, 83–488. https://doi.org/10.2307/584462.

  76. King, L. A., Mattimore, L. K., King, D. W., & Adams, G. A. (1995). Family support inventory for workers: A new measure of perceived social support from family members. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 16, 235–258. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.4030160306.

  77. Kiran, R., Mridula, A., & Subbakrishna, D. K. (2003). Coping and subjective well-being in women with multiple roles. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 49(3), 175–184. https://doi.org/10.1177/00207640030493003.

  78. Kline, R. B. (1998). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. New York: Guilford Press.

  79. Kossek, E. E., Pichler, S. M., Meece, D., & Barratt, M. E. (2008). Family, friend, and neighbour child care providers and maternal wellbeing in low income systems: An ecological social perspective. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 81(3), 369–391. https://doi.org/10.1348/096317908X324387.

  80. Koura, U., Sekine, M., Yamada, M., & Tatsuse, T. (2017). Work, family, and personal characteristics explain occupational and gender differences in work-family conflict among Japanese civil servants. Public Health, 153, 78–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2017.08.010.

  81. Lambert, C. H., Kass, S. J., Piotrowski, C., & Vodanovich, S. J. (2006). Impact factors on work-family balance: Initial support for border theory. Organization Development Journal, 24(3), 64–75.

  82. Lapierre, L. M., & Allen, T. D. (2006). Work-supportive family, family-supportive supervision, use of organizational benefits, and problem-focused coping: Implications for work-family conflict and employee well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 11(2), 169–181. https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8998.11.2.169.

  83. LaRocco, J. M., House, J. S., & French Jr., J. R. (1980). Social support, occupational stress, and health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 21(3), 202–218. https://doi.org/10.2307/2136616.

  84. Leggett, D. G., Roberts-Pittman, B., Byczek, S., & Morse, D. T. (2012). Cooperation, conflict, and marital satisfaction: Bridging theory, research, and practice. Journal of Individual Psychology, 68(2), 182–199.

  85. Livingston, B. A., & Judge, T. A. (2008). Emotional responses to work-family conflict: An examination of gender role orientation among working men and women. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(1), 207–216. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.93.1.207.

  86. Lu, J.-F., Siu, O.-L., Spector, P. E., & Shi, K. (2009). Antecedents and outcomes of a fourfold taxonomy of work-family balance in Chinese employed parents. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 14(2), 182–192. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014115.

  87. Luk, D. M., & Shaffer, M. A. (2002). Work and family domain stressors, structure and support: Direct and indirect influences on work-family conflict. Hong Kong: Business Research Centre, School of Business, Hong Kong Baptist University.

  88. Major, B. (1993). Gender, entitlement, and the distribution of family labor. Journal of Social Issues, 49(3), 141–159. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1993.tb01173.x.

  89. Martínez, P., Carrasco, M. J., Aza, G., Blanco, A., & Espinar, I. (2011). Family gender role and guilt in Spanish dual-earner families. Sex Roles, 65(11–12), 813–826. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-011-0031-4.

  90. McMahon, M. (1995). Engendering motherhood: Identity and self-transformation in women's lives. New York: Guilford Press.

  91. Merton, R. K. (1957). The role-set: Problems in sociological theory. The British Journal of Sociology, 8(2), 106–120. https://doi.org/10.2307/587363.

  92. Michel, J. S., Mitchelson, J. K., Pichler, S., & Cullen, K. L. (2010). Clarifying relationships among work and family social support, stressors, and work–family conflict. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76(1), 91–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2009.05.007.

  93. Michel, J. S., Kotrba, L. M., Mitchelson, J. K., Clark, M. A., & Baltes, B. B. (2011). Antecedents of work–family conflict: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32(5), 689–725. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.695.

  94. Mickelson, K. D., Claffey, S. T., & Williams, S. L. (2006). The moderating role of gender and gender role attitudes on the link between spousal support and marital quality. Sex Roles, 55(1–2), 73–82. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-006-9061-8.

  95. Mickelson, K. D., Chong, A., & Don, B. P. (2013). "To thine own self be true": Impact of gender role and attitude mismatch on new mothers' mental health. In J. Marich (Ed.), The psychology of women: Diverse perspectives from the modern world (pp. 1–16). New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc..

  96. Morgan, W. B., & King, E. B. (2012). The association between work-family guilt and pro- and anti-social work behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 68(4), 684–703. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2012.01771.x.

  97. Netemeyer, R. G., Boles, J. S., & McMurrian, R. (1996). Development and validation of work–family conflict and family–work conflict scales. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81(4), 400–410. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.81.4.400.

  98. O'Driscoll, M. P., Poelmans, S., Spector, P. E., Kalliath, T., Allen, T. D., Cooper, C. L., … Sanchez, J. I. (2003). Family-responsive interventions, perceived organizational and supervisor support, work-family conflict, and psychological strain. International Journal of Stress Management, 10(4), 326–344. https://doi.org/10.1037/1072-5245.10.4.326

  99. Okonkwo, E. (2014). Female nurses experiencing family strain interference with work: Spousal support and number of children impacts. Gender and Behaviour, 12(1), 6182–6188.

  100. Ollo-López, A., & Goñi-Legaz, S. (2017). Differences in work–family conflict: Which individual and national factors explain them? The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28(3), 499–525. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2015.1118141.

  101. Parasuraman, S., Purohit, Y. S., Godshalk, V. M., & Beutell, N. J. (1996). Work and family variables, entrepreneurial career success, and psychological well-being. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 48(3), 275–300. https://doi.org/10.1006/jvbe.1996.0025.

  102. Pedersen, D. E., Minnotte, K. L., Kiger, G., & Mannon, S. E. (2009). Workplace policy and environment, family role quality, and positive family­to­work spillover. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 30, 80–89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-008-9140-9.

  103. Piotrkowski, C. S., & Repetti, R. L. (1984). Dual-earner families. Marriage & Family Review, 7(3–4), 99–124.

  104. Pleck, J. H. (1977). The work-family role system. Social Problems, 24(4), 417–427. https://doi.org/10.2307/800135.

  105. Pluut, H., Ilies, R., Curşeu, P. L., & Liu, Y. (2018). Social support at work and at home: Dual-buffering effects in the work-family conflict process. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 146, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2018.02.001.

  106. Pu, J., Hou, H., Ma, R., & Sang, J. (2017). The effect of psychological capital between work– Family conflict and job burnout in Chinese university teachers: Testing for mediation and moderation. Journal of Health Psychology, 22(14), 1799–1807. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105316636950.

  107. Ransford, C. R., Crouter, A. C., & McHale, S. M. (2008). Implications of work pressure and supervisor support for fathers’, mothers’ and adolescents’ relationships and well-being in dual-earner families. Community, Work & Family, 11(1), 37–60. https://doi.org/10.1080/13668800701785312.

  108. Reis, H. T. (1998). The interpersonal context of emotions: Gender differences in intimacy and related behaviors. In D. Canary & K. Dindia (Eds.), Sex differences/similarities in communication (pp. 203–231). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.

  109. Repetti, R. L. (1987). Individual and common components of the social environment at work and psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52(4), 710–720 http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/0022-3514.52.4.710.

  110. Restubog, S. L. D., & Bordia, P. (2007). One big happy family: Understanding the role of workplace familism in the psychological contract dynamics. In A. I. Glendon, B. M. Thompson, & B. Myors (Eds.), Advances in organisational psychology (pp. 371–387). Bowen Hills: Australian Academic Press.

  111. Rosin, H. M. (1990). The effects of dual career participation on men: Some determinants of variation in career and personal satisfaction. Human Relations, 43, 169–182 http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1177/001872679004300205.

  112. Spector, P. E., Cooper, C. L., Poelmans, S., Allen, T. D., O'Driscoll, Michael., Sanchez, J. I., ... Lu, L. (2004). A cross-national comparative study of work-family stressors, working hours, and well-being: China and Latin America versus the Anglo world. Personnel Psychology, 57(1), 119–142. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2004.tb02486.x

  113. Spector, P. E., Allen, T. D., Poelmans, S. A., Lapierre, L. M., Cooper, C. L., Michael, O. D., ... Brough, P. (2007). Cross-national differences in relationships of work demands, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions with work–family conflict. Personnel Psychology, 60(4), 805–835. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2007.00092.x

  114. Spitze, G., & Ward, R. (2000). Gender, marriage, and expectations for personal care. Research on Aging, 22(5), 451–469 http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1177/0164027500225001.

  115. Tanaka, K., & Lowry, D. (2013). Mental well-being of mothers with preschool children in Japan: The importance of spousal involvement in childrearing. Journal of Family Studies, 19(2), 185–195. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2599981.

  116. Thoits, P. A. (1995). Stress, coping, and social support processes: Where are we? What next? Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 35, 53–79 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2626957.

  117. Van Daalen, G., Willemsen, T. M., & Sanders, K. (2006). Reducing work–family conflict through different sources of social support. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69(3), 462–476 http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1016/j.jvb.2006.07.005.

  118. Vinokur, A. D., & Vinokur-Kaplan, D. (1990). "In sickness and in health": Patterns of social support and undermining in older married couples. Journal of Aging and Health, 2(2), 215–241 http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1177/089826439000200205.

  119. Voydanoff, P. (2004). The effects of work demands and resources on work-to-family conflict and facilitation. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66(2), 398–412 https://www.jstor.org/stable/3599845.

  120. Williams, K. J., & Alliger, G. M. (1994). Role stressors, mood spillover, and perceptions of work-family conflict in employed parents. Academy of Management Journal, 37(4), 837–868. https://doi.org/10.2307/256602.

  121. Yang, N. (2005). Individualism-collectivism and work-family interfaces: A Sino-U.S. comparison. In S. A. Y. Poelmans (Ed.), Work and family: An international research perspective (pp. 287–318). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  122. Yedirir, S., & Hamarta, E. (2015). Emotional expression and spousal support as predictors of marital satisfaction: The case of Turkey. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 15(6), 1549–1558. https://doi.org/10.12738/estp.2015.6.2822.

  123. Zimmerman, T. S., Bowling, S. W., & McBride, R. M. (2001). Strategies for guilt among working mothers. The Colorado Early Childhood Journal, 3(1), 32–36.

Download references


The authors would like to thank the editor and the two reviewers for their valueable comments on the previous version of the manuscript. They also thank Katie Peterson for her professional assistance with proofreading.

Author information

Correspondence to Doruk Uysal Irak.

Ethics declarations

Authors confirmed that there are no conflicts of interest. No external funding was used to support this project. Prior to data collection, approval from the Institutional Review Board at Bahcesehir University was taken. All participants provided informed consent prior to participating in the study. Participation was unpaid and voluntary bases.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Uysal Irak, D., Kalkışım, K. & Yıldırım, M. Emotional Support Makes the Difference: Work-Family Conflict and Employment Related Guilt Among Employed Mothers. Sex Roles 82, 53–65 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-019-01035-x

Download citation


  • Emotional support
  • Work-family conflict
  • Working mother
  • Supervisory support