Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 509–518 | Cite as

Work–Family Conflict and Couple Relationship Quality: A Meta-analytic Study

  • Kaylene J. FellowsEmail author
  • Hsin-Yao Chiu
  • E. Jeffrey Hill
  • Alan J. Hawkins
Review Article


This study examined the association between work–family conflict and couple relationship quality. We conducted a meta-analytic review of 49 samples from 33 papers published between 1986 and 2014. The results indicated that there was a significant negative relationship between work–family conflict and couple relationship quality (r = −.19, k = 49). Several moderators were included in this analysis: gender, region, parental status, dual-earner status, and the measures used for work–family conflict and marital quality variables. The strength of the relationship varied based on the region of the sample—samples from Europe and Asia had a significantly weaker relationship between work–family conflict and relationship quality than those from North America. In addition, the relationship was significantly weaker in samples of dual-earner couples and when non-standardized scales were used. Implications of the results and directions for future research are suggested.


Work–family conflict Work-to-family conflict Marital satisfaction Relationship quality Meta-analysis 


References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the meta-analysis

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaylene J. Fellows
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hsin-Yao Chiu
    • 2
  • E. Jeffrey Hill
    • 2
  • Alan J. Hawkins
    • 2
  1. 1.Kellogg School of ManagementNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.School of Family LifeBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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