This study examines the direct versus the buffering effect of leader support in the work unit on the relationship between work spillover and family adaptation. The analyses use data from a probability sample of 3,190 married soldiers in the U.S. Army who participated in the 1989 Army and Family Survey, and the data are analyzed by the gender of the respondent. Two types of work spillover are examined in the analysis (energy and time interference), and both internal and external types of family adaptation are hypothesized and supported by the empirical analysis. Only modest support is found for the buffering effect hypothesis. In support of the direct effect hypothesis, the findings indicate that leader support in the work unit decreases perceptions of work spillover, which is a preventive effect, and enhances perceptions of external adaptation, which is a therapeutic effect.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Baruch, G. K., Biener, L., & Barnett, R. C. (1987). Women and gender in research on work and family stress. American Psychologist, 42(2), 130–136.
Belsley, D. A., Kuh, E., & Welsch, R. E. (1980). Regression diagnostics: Identifying influential data and sources of collinearity. New York: Wiley.
Berger, P. S., Cook, A. S., DelCampo, R. L., Herrera, R. S., & Weigel, R. R. (1994). Family/work roles' relation to perceived stress: Do gender and ethnicity matter? Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 15, 223–242.
Billings, A. G., & Moos, R. H. (1982). Work stress and the stress-buffering roles of work and family resources. Journal of Occupational Behaviour, 3, 215–232.
Blankinship, D. A. (1990). Army family research program: The role of installation leaders in creating a supportive family environment. In D. A. Blankinship, S. L. Bullman, & G. M. Croan (Eds.), The policy, program, and fiscal implications of military family research: Proceedings of the 1990 military family research review. (pp. 128–142). Fairfax, VA: Caliber Associates.
Blau, P. M. (1960). Structural effects. American Sociological Review, 25, 178–193.
Bolger, N., DeLongis, A., Kessler, R. C., & Wethington, E. (1989). The contagion of stress across multiple roles. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 175–183.
Bowen, G. L. (1988). Corporate supports for the family lives of employees: A conceptual model for program planning and evaluation. Family Relations, 37, 183–188.
Bowen, G. L. (1989a). Family adaptation to relocation: An empirical analysis of family stressors, adaptive resources, and sense of coherence (Techical Report 856). Alexandria, VA: U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Bowen, G. L. (1989b). Satisfaction with family life in the military. Armed Forces and Society, 15, 571–592.
Bowen, G. L. (1991). Navigating the marital journey. MAP: A corporate support program for couples. New York: Praeger.
Bowen, G., & Neenan, P. (1989). Organizational attitude toward families and satisfaction with the military as a way of life: Perceptions of civilian spouses of U.S. Army members. Family Perspective, 23, 3–13.
Bowen, G. L., & Orthner, D. K. (Eds.). (1989). The organization family: Work and family linkages in the U.S. military. New York: Praeger.
Bowen, G. L., Orthner, D. K., & Zimmerman, L. I. (1993). Family adaptation of single parents in the United States Army: An empirical analysis of work stressors and adaptive resources. Family Relations, 42, 293–304.
Bowen, G. L., Orthner, D. K., & Bell, D. B. (1997). Differences in spouses' perceptions of family adaptation. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 12, 53–72.
Bowen, G. L., & Pittman, J. F. (1993). Family adaptation to relocation in the U.S. Air Force: Implications for policy and practice. Washington, DC: Department of the United States Air Force.
Bowen, G. L., & Pittman, J. F. (Eds.). (1995). The work and family interface: Toward a contextual effects perspective. Minneapolis, MN: National Council on Family Relations.
Burke, R. J. (1982). Occupational demands on administrators and spouses' satisfaction and well-being. Psychological Reports, 51, 823–836.
Burke, R. J., & Greenglass, E. R. (1987). Work and family. In C. L. Cooper & I. T. Robertson (Eds.), International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology 1987 (pp. 273–320). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Burke, R. J., & Weir, T. (1982). Husband-wife helping relationships as moderators of experienced stress: The “mental hygiene” factor in marriage. In H. I. McCubbin, A. E. Cauble, & J. M. Patterson (Eds.), Family stress, coping, and social support (pp. 221–238). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
Caplan, R. D. (1987). Person-environment fit theory and organizations: Commensurate dimensions, time perspectives, and mechanisms. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 31, 248–267.
Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1975). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Cronbach, L. J. (1958). Proposals leading to analytic treatment of social perception scores. In R. Tagiuri & L. Petrullo (Eds.), Person perception and interpersonal behavior (pp. 353–379). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Crouter, A. C. (1984). Spillover from family to work: The neglected side of the work-family interface. Human Relations, 37, 425–442.
Crouter, A. C., Perry-Jenkins, M., Huston, T. L., & Crawford, D. W. (1989). The influence of work-induced psychological states on behavior at home. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 10, 273–292.
Evans, P., & Bartolome, F. (1986). The dynamics of work-family relationships in managerial lives. International Review of Applied Psychology, 35, 371–395.
Geller, P. A., & Hobfoll, S. E. (1994). Gender differences in job stress, tedium and social support in the workplace. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 11, 555–572.
Greenberger, E., Goldberg, W. A., Hamill, S., O'Neil, R., & Payne, C. K. (1989). Contributions of a supportive work environment to parents' well-being and orientation to work. American Journal of Community Psychology, 17(6), 755–783.
Greenhaus, J. H., & Beutell, N. J. (1985). Sources of conflict between work and family roles. In B. C. Miller & D. H. Olson (Eds.), Family studies: Review yearbook (pp. 299–319). Beverly Hills, California: Sage.
Greenhaus, J. H., & Kopelman, R. E. (1981). Conflict between work and nonwork roles: Implications for the career planning process. Human Resource Planning, 4, 1–10.
Harrison, R. V. (1978). Person-environment fit and job stress. In C. L. Cooper & R. Payne (Eds.), Stress at work (pp. 175–205). Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons.
House, J. S. (1981). Work stress and social support. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Jones, A. P., & Butler, M. C. (1980). A role transition approach to the stresses of organizationally induced family role disruption. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 42, 367–376.
Kanter, R. M. (1977). Work and family in the United States: A critical review and agenda for research and policy. New York: Russell Sage.
Kobasa, S. C. O., & Puccetti, M. C. (1983). Personality and social resources in stress resistance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 839–850.
LaRocco, J. M., House, J. S., & French, J. R. P., Jr. (1980). Social support, occupational stress, and health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 21, 202–218.
LaRocco, J. M., & Jones, A. P. (1978). Co-worker and leader support as moderators of stress-strain relationships in work situations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63, 629–634.
Lavee, Y., & McCubbin, H. I. (1985, November). Adaptation in family stress theory: Theoretical and methodological considerations. Paper presented at the Theory Construction and Research Methodology Workshop, National Council on Family Relations, Dallas, Texas.
Lavee, Y., McCubbin, H. I., & Patterson, J. M. (1985). The double ABCX model of family stress and adaptation: An empirical test by analysis of structural equations with latent variables. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 47, 811–825.
Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.
Martin, J. A., & Orthner, D. K. (1989). The “company town” in transition: Rebuilding military communities. In G. L. Bowen & D. K. Orthner (Eds.), The organization family: Work and family linkages in the U.S. military (pp. 163–177). New York: Praeger.
McCubbin, H. I., & Lavee, Y. (1986). Strengthening Army families: A family life cycle stage perspective. Evaluation and Program Planning, 9, 221–231.
McCubbin, M. A., & McCubbin, H. I. (1987). Family stress theory and assessment: T-double ABCX model of family adjustment and adaptation. In H. I. McCubbin & A. I. Thompson (Eds.), Family assessment inventories for research and practice. (pp. 3–32). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Near, J. P., Rice, R. W., & Hunt, R. G. (1980). The relationship between work and nonwork domains: A review of empirical research. The Academy of Management Review, 5, 415–429.
O'Neil, R., & Greenberger, E. (1994). Patterns of commitment to work and parenting: Implications for role strain. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 101–112.
Orthner, D. K., Bowen, G. L., & Beare, V. G. (1990). The organization family: A question of work and family boundaries. Marriage and Family Review, 15(3/4), 15–36.
Piotrkowski, C. S. (1979). Work and family system: A naturalistic study of working-class and lower middle-class families. New York: Free Press.
Pittman, J. F. (1994). Work/family fit as a mediator of work factors on marital tension: Evidence from the interface of greedy institutions. Human Relations, 47, 183–209.
Pittman, J. F., & Bowen, G. L. (1995). Understanding the joint contributions of individual-level and unit-level variables on adaptation to work: The case of military relocation (Technical Report). Washington, D.C.: Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Personnel Support, Families and Education.
Pittman, J. F., & Kerpelman, J. L. (1996). Internal and external adaptation in Army families separated by Desert Shield/Storm: The role of services and unit culture (Technical Report). Alexandria, VA: U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Pittman, J. F., & Orthner, D. K. (1988). Predictors of spouse support for the work commitments of husbands. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50, 335–348.
Pleck, J. (1977). The work-family role system. Social Problems, 24, 417–427.
Repetti, R. L. (1987). Individual and common components of the social environment at work and psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 710–720.
Repetti, R. L. (1989). Effects of daily workload on subsequent behavior during marital interaction: The roles of social withdrawal and spouse support. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 651–659.
Research Triangle Institute. (1990). AFRP analysis plan (Volume II: Appendices). Research Triangle Park, NC: Author.
Rosenfeld, L., Bowen, G. L., & Richman, J. M. (1995). Communication in three types of dual-career marriages. In M.A. Fitzpatrick & A.L. Vangelisti (Eds.), Explaining family interactions (pp. 257–289). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Rosenthal, R. (1991). Meta-analytic procedures for social research (Revised ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Segal, M. W. (1995). Women's military roles cross-nationally: Past, present, and future. Gender & Society, 9, 757–775.
Shields, P. M. (1988). Sex roles in the military. In C. C. Moskos & F. R. Wood (Eds.), The military: More than just a job (pp. 99–113). Washington, DC: Pergamon-Brassey.
Small, S. A., & Riley, D. (1990). Toward a multidimensional assessment of work spillover into family life. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52, 51–61.
Teitelbaum, J. M. (1990). Effective family supportiveness. In D. A. Blankinship, S. L. Bullman, & G. M. Croan (Eds.), The policy, program, and fiscal implications of military family research: Proceedings of the 1990 military family research review. (pp. 110–127). Fairfax, VA: Caliber Associates.
Thompson, L., & Walker, A. J. (1989). Gender in families: Women and men in marriage, work, and parenthood. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 845–871.
Voydanoff, P. (1988). Work role characteristics, family structure demands, and work/family conflict. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50, 749–761.
Warren, J. A., & Johnson, P. J. (1995). The impact of workplace support on work-family role strain. Family Relations, 44, 163–169.
About this article
Cite this article
Bowen, G.L. Effects of Leader Support in the Work Unit on the Relationship Between Work Spillover and Family Adaptation. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 19, 25–52 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022985107541
- work and family
- family adaptation
- workplace supports
- military families
- social support