Journal of Career Development

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 225–238 | Cite as

The Effects of Role Congruence and Role Conflict on Work, Marital, and Life Satisfaction

  • Kristin M. PerroneEmail author
  • L. Kay Webb
  • Rachel H. Blalock

The impact of role congruence and role conflict on work, marital, and life satisfaction was studied using Super’s life-span, life-space theory. A conceptual model of relationships between these variables was proposed, and gender differences were examined. Participants were 35 male and 60 female college graduates who completed surveys by mail. Results indicated adequate fit for the proposed model. Results of gender analyses indicated that women in this study participated more in parenting and housework, whereas men participated more in career and leisure activities. Despite the differences in actual role participation, no gender differences were found regarding ideal role participation. Both men and women reported that the parent role was most rewarding. Implications for counselors and directions for future research were discussed.

Key words

role congruence work–family interface 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amaro, H., Russo, N. F., Johnson, J 1987Family and work predictors of psychological well being among Hispanic women professionalsPsychology of Women Quarterly11505521Google Scholar
  2. Aryee, S., Luk, V., Leung, A., Lo, S 1999Role stressors, interrole conflict, and well being: The moderating influence of spousal support and coping behaviors among employed parents in Hong KongJournal of Vocational Behavior54259278Google Scholar
  3. Barnett, R. C., Gareis, K. C 2000Reduced-hours job-role quality and life satisfaction among married women physicians with childrenPsychology of Women Quarterly24358364Google Scholar
  4. Barnett, R. C., Hyde, J. S 2001Women, men, work, and family: An expansionist theoryAmerican Psychologist56781796PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bentler, P. M 1990Comparative fit indices in structural modelsPsychological Bulletin107238246PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bentler, P. M. 1995EQS structural equations program manualMultivariate Software, IncEncino, CAGoogle Scholar
  7. Chiu, R. K 1998Relationships among role conflicts, role satisfactions and life satisfaction: Evidence from Hong KongSocial Behavior and Personality26409414Google Scholar
  8. Coltrane, S 2000Research on household labor: Modeling and measuring social embeddedness of routine family workJournal of Marriage and the Family6212081233Google Scholar
  9. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., Griffin, S 1985The satisfaction with life scaleJournal of Personality Assessment497175Google Scholar
  10. Fu, C. K., Shaffer, M. A 2001The tug of work and family: Direct and indirect domain specific determinants of work–family conflictPersonnel Review30502522Google Scholar
  11. Grant-Vallone, E. J., Donaldson, S. I 2001Consequences of work–family conflict on employee well being over timeWork and Stress15214226Google Scholar
  12. Gutek, B. A., Searle, S., Klepa, L 1991Rational versus gender role explanations for work–family conflictJournal of Applied Psychology76560568Google Scholar
  13. Hundley, G 2001Domestic division of labor and self/organizationally employed differences in job attitudes and earningsJournal of Family and Economic Issues22121139Google Scholar
  14. McKenry, P. C., Hamdorf, K. G., Walters, C. M., Murray, C.I 1985Family and job influences on role satisfaction of employed rural mothersPsychology of Women Quarterly9242257Google Scholar
  15. Olson, D. H., McCubbin, H. I., Barnes, H. L., Larsen, A. S., Muxen, M. J., Wilson, M.␣A. 1989Families: What makes them workSage Beverly Hills, CAGoogle Scholar
  16. O’Neil, J. M., Fishman, D. M., Kinsella-Shaw, M 1987Dual-career couples’ career transitions and normative dilemmas: A preliminary assessment modelCounseling Psychologist155096Google Scholar
  17. Perrewe, P. L., Hochwarter, W. A 2001Can we really have it all? The attainment of work and family valuesCurrent Directions in Psychological Science: A Journal of the American Psychological Society102933Google Scholar
  18. Regan, M. C., Roland, H. E 1982University students: A change in expectations and aspirations over the decadeSociology of Education55223228Google Scholar
  19. Rogers, S. J., Amato, P. R 2000Have changes in gender relations affected marital quality?Social Forces79731753Google Scholar
  20. Salvatore, N., Muñoz Sastre, M. T 2001Appraisal of life: “Area” versus “dimension” conceptualizationsSocial Indicators Research53229255Google Scholar
  21. Schultheiss, D. E. P 2003A relational approach to career counseling: Theoretical integration and practical applicationJournal of Counseling and Development81301310Google Scholar
  22. Sekaran, U 1985Enhancing the mental health of Indian Dual Career Family CouplesIndian Journal of Applied Psychology225762Google Scholar
  23. Shouksmith, G., Pajo, K., Jepsen, A 1990Construction of a multidimensional scale of job satisfactionPsychological Reports67355364PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Stevens, D., Kiger, G., Riley, P 2001Working hard and hardly working: Domestic labor and marital satisfaction among dual-earner couplesJournal of Marriage and Family63514526Google Scholar
  25. Super, D. E. 1990A life-span, life-space approach to career developmentBrown, D.Brooks, L. eds. Career choice and developmentJossey-BassSan Francisco, CA167261Google Scholar
  26. Super, D. E., Neville, D. 1986The salience inventoryConsulting Psychologists PressPalo Alto, CAGoogle Scholar
  27. Tait, M., Padgett, M. Y., Baldwin, T. T 1989Job and life satisfaction: A reevaluation of the strength of the relationship and gender effects as a function of the date of the studyJournal of Applied Psychology74502507Google Scholar
  28. Voydanoff, P., Donnelly, B. W 1999The intersection of time in activities and perceived unfairness in relation to psychological distress and marital qualityJournal of Marriage and the Family61739751Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin M. Perrone
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. Kay Webb
    • 1
  • Rachel H. Blalock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Counseling PsychologyBall State UniversityMuncie

Personalised recommendations