Research in Higher Education

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 226–247 | Cite as

Correlates of Work-Life Balance for Faculty Across Racial/Ethnic Groups

  • Nida DensonEmail author
  • Katalin Szelényi
  • Kate Bresonis


Very few studies have examined issues of work-life balance among faculty of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. Utilizing data from Harvard University’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education project, this study examined predictors of work-life balance for 2953 faculty members from 69 institutions. The final sample consisted of 1059 (36%) Asian American faculty, 512 (17%) African American faculty, 359 (12%) Latina/o faculty, and 1023 (35%) White/Caucasian faculty. There were 1184 (40%) women faculty and 1769 (60%) men faculty. The predictors of worklife balance included faculty characteristics, departmental/institutional characteristics and support, and faculty satisfaction with work. While African American women faculty reported less work-life balance than African American men, the reverse was true for Latina/o faculty. In addition, White faculty who were single with no children were significantly less likely to report having work-life balance than their married counterparts with children. Faculty rank was a significant positive predictor of work-life balance for all faculty. Notably, the findings highlight the importance of department and institutional support for making personal/family obligations and an academic career compatible. Institutional support for making personal/family obligations and an academic career compatible was consistently the strongest positive predictor of perceived work-life balance for all faculty. In addition, satisfaction with time spent on research had positive associations with work-life balance for all faculty, highlighting how faculty from all racial/ethnic backgrounds value being able to spend enough time on their own research.


Faculty Work-life balance Race Faculty of color 



The authors are grateful to the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) for granting them access to the 2011–2012 COACHE dataset.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences and PsychologyWestern Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia
  2. 2.University of MassachusettsBostonUSA
  3. 3.MCPHS UniversityBostonUSA

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