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.
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Work-life balance is on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree; 2 = somewhat disagree; 3 = neither agree nor disagree; 4 = somewhat agree; 5 = strongly agree).
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Appendix: Descriptive Statistics of All Variables by Faculty Racial/Ethnic Group
Appendix: Descriptive Statistics of All Variables by Faculty Racial/Ethnic Group
|Variable||% Missing||Asian American (N = 1059)||African American (N = 512)||Latina/o (N = 359)||White/Caucasian (N = 1023)|
|Faculty work-life balance||0||1.00||5.00||3.45||1.14||1.00||5.00||3.19||1.30||1.00||5.00||3.24||1.29||1.00||5.00||3.24||1.31|
|Female (vs. males)||0||.00||1.00||.34||.47||.00||1.00||.54||.50||.00||1.00||.48||.50||.00||1.00||.41||.49|
|Single without children (vs. married with children)||0||.00||1.00||.13||.33||.00||1.00||.28||.45||.00||1.00||.18||.39||.00||1.00||.16||.37|
|Single with children (vs. married with children)||0||.00||1.00||.02||.15||.00||1.00||.09||.29||.00||1.00||.07||.26||.00||1.00||.05||.21|
|Married without children (vs. married with children)||0||.00||1.00||.22||.42||.00||1.00||.20||.40||.00||1.00||.26||.44||.00||1.00||.31||.46|
|Social sciences (vs. humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.09||.29||.00||1.00||.15||.36||.00||1.00||.12||.33||.00||1.00||.14||.35|
|Physical sciences (vs. humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.06||.24||.00||1.00||.02||.15||.00||1.00||.06||.23||.00||1.00||.08||.26|
|Biological sciences (vs. humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.05||.22||.00||1.00||.04||.19||.00||1.00||.05||.22||.00||1.00||.04||.20|
|Visual and performing arts (vs. humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.02||.14||.00||1.00||.06||.23||.00||1.00||.07||.25||.00||1.00||.06||.25|
|Engineering/comp sci/math/stats (vs. humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.26||.44||.00||1.00||.09||.28||.00||1.00||.10||.29||.00||1.00||.12||.32|
|Health and human ecology (vs. Humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.05||.22||.00||1.00||.04||.20||.00||1.00||.04||.19||.00||1.00||.04||.20|
|Agriculture/nat res/env sci (vs. humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.04||.20||.00||1.00||.02||.15||.00||1.00||.04||.21||.00||1.00||.05||.23|
|Business (vs. humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.10||.30||.00||1.00||.07||.26||.00||1.00||.04||.20||.00||1.00||.05||.22|
|Education (vs. humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.03||.17||.00||1.00||.16||.36||.00||1.00||.05||.22||.00||1.00||.07||.26|
|Medical schools and health professions (vs. humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.19||.39||.00||1.00||.14||.35||.00||1.00||.11||.32||.00||1.00||.15||.36|
|Other professions (vs. humanities)||0||.00||1.00||.03||.17||.00||1.00||.09||.28||.00||1.00||.05||.22||.00||1.00||.04||.20|
|Departmental characteristics and support|
|Collegial and supportive colleagues||7||1.00||5.00||3.83||1.00||1.00||5.00||3.91||1.06||1.00||5.00||3.80||1.08||1.00||5.00||3.93||1.08|
|Mentoring from someone in your department||18||1.00||5.00||3.60||1.09||1.00||5.00||3.62||1.17||1.00||5.00||3.58||1.21||1.00||5.00||3.51||1.12|
|Departmental colleagues do what they can to make personal/family obligations and an academic career compatible||14||1.00||5.00||3.59||1.08||1.00||5.00||3.60||1.14||1.00||5.00||3.57||1.19||1.00||5.00||3.68||1.13|
|Institutional characteristics and support|
|Private (vs. public)||0||.00||1.00||.23||.42||.00||1.00||.15||.36||.00||1.00||.21||.41||.00||1.00||.17||.37|
|Very high and high research university (vs. all others)||0||.00||1.00||.68||.47||.00||1.00||.45||.50||.00||1.00||.53||.50||.00||1.00||.56||.50|
|My institution does what it can to make personal/family obligations and an academic career compatible||19||1.00||5.00||3.12||1.14||1.00||5.00||2.92||1.24||1.00||5.00||2.85||1.32||1.00||5.00||2.92||1.22|
|Satisfaction with work|
|Satisfaction with time spent on teaching||2||1.00||5.00||3.79||.93||1.00||5.00||3.87||.99||1.00||5.00||3.91||.92||1.00||5.00||3.92||.95|
|Satisfaction with time spent on research||1||1.00||5.00||3.60||1.10||1.00||5.00||3.12||1.18||1.00||5.00||3.34||1.25||1.00||5.00||3.27||1.19|
|Satisfaction with time spent on service||2||1.00||5.00||3.52||.96||1.00||5.00||3.58||1.00||1.00||5.00||3.38||1.07||1.00||5.00||3.36||1.04|
|Satisfaction with time spent on outreach||23||1.00||5.00||3.51||.77||1.00||5.00||3.53||.86||1.00||5.00||3.45||.83||1.00||5.00||3.54||.83|
|Satisfaction with time spent on administrative tasks||10||1.00||5.00||3.20||.92||1.00||5.00||3.16||.98||1.00||5.00||2.97||1.03||1.00||5.00||2.90||1.04|
|General satisfaction with institution and department||12||1.00||5.00||3.59||.98||1.00||5.00||3.70||.98||1.00||5.00||3.68||1.02||1.00||5.00||3.77||1.01|
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Denson, N., Szelényi, K. & Bresonis, K. Correlates of Work-Life Balance for Faculty Across Racial/Ethnic Groups. Res High Educ 59, 226–247 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-017-9464-0
- Work-life balance
- Faculty of color