Flexible work arrangements and work-family conflict after childbirth

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20 Scopus citations


Background: Previous research has revealed that work-family conflict negatively influences women's health following childbirth. Aim: To examine if flexible work arrangements were associated with work-family conflict among women, 1 year after childbirth. Methods: Employed women, aged ≥18, were recruited while hospitalized for childbirth. Flexible work arrangements were measured at 6 months and work-family conflict was measured at 12 months. General linear models estimated the association between flexible work arrangements and work-family conflict. Results: Of 1157 eligible participants, 522 were included in this analysis giving a 45% response rate. Compared to women who reported that taking time off was very hard, those who reported it was not too hard (β = -0.80, SE = 0.36, P < 0.05) and not at all hard (β = -1.08, SE = 0.35, P < 0.01) had lower average job spillover scores. There was no association between taking time off and home spillover. The ability to change hours was associated with greater home spillover (β = 0.46, SE = 0.18, P < 0.05) but not with job spillover. The ability to take work home was associated with increased home spillover (β = 0.35, SE = 0.14, P < 0.05) but not with job spillover. Conclusions: The ability to change work hours and the ability to take work home were associated with increased home spillover to work. The ability to take time off was associated with decreased job spillover to home. Additional research is needed to examine the intentional and unintentional consequences of flexible work arrangements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-474
Number of pages7
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the grant 5 R18 OH003605-05 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH. Gratitude is extended to the doctoral training program in occupational health services research and policy made possible through the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety and Educational Research Center supported, in part, by NIOSH (T42OH008434).


  • Occupational health
  • Pregnancy
  • Women
  • Workplace


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