Social Indicators Research

, Volume 121, Issue 1, pp 5–25 | Cite as

Do Part-Time Jobs Mitigate Workers’ Work–Family Conflict and Enhance Wellbeing? New Evidence from Four East-Asian Societies

  • Akiko Sato OishiEmail author
  • Raymond K. H. Chan
  • Lillian Lih-Rong Wang
  • Ju-Hyun Kim


Studies in Western countries have shown that part-time work is associated with lower work–family conflict and higher job satisfaction, especially in the case of women. The present study addressed three questions: (1) are part-time workers more likely to report a lower level of work–family conflict and higher levels of job satisfaction and life satisfaction than those who work full-time? (2) Does having children or living with an older person who needs to be cared for affect individuals’ work–family conflict, job satisfaction and life satisfaction? (3) Are gender-role beliefs associated with work–family conflict, job satisfaction and life satisfaction? To answer these questions, joint ordered probit models were estimated using a merged dataset on workers in four East-Asian societies: Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The outcome measures used in the analyses were: work–family conflict, family–work conflict, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction. Controlling for personal and family attributes, part-time work was negatively associated with work–family conflict and job satisfaction, but not with life satisfaction. Although having children was not related to outcome measures, living with a frail elderly person significantly increased work–family and family–work conflicts. Married women who accepted gender-role beliefs were less likely to have work–family conflict.


Work–family conflict Job satisfaction Happiness Part-time work East Asia 



The data used in this study were made available to the authors by the Asian Consortium for Social Quality. We thank Hearan Koo for organizing the data. This research was supported by the National Research Foundation Grant funded by Korean Government (MEST) (grant number NRF-2013-S1A5B8A01053931), College of Social Science of National Taiwan University, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C-23530269) and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (21119004) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akiko Sato Oishi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raymond K. H. Chan
    • 2
  • Lillian Lih-Rong Wang
    • 3
  • Ju-Hyun Kim
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Law and EconomicsChiba UniversityChibaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Applied Social StudiesCity University of Hong KongKowloonHong Kong
  3. 3.Department of Social WorkNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Institute for Social Development and Policy ResearchSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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