Work, family and life-course fit: Does control over work time matter?

Phyllis Moen, Erin Kelly, Qinlei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


This study moves from "work-family" to a multi-dimensional "life-course fit" construct (employees' cognitive assessments of resources, resource deficits, and resource demands), using a combined work-family, demands-control and ecology of the life course framing. It examined (1) impacts of job and home ecological systems on fit dimensions, and (2) whether control over work time predicted and mediated life-course fit outcomes. Using cluster analysis of survey data on a sample of 917 white-collar employees from Best Buy headquarters, we identified four job ecologies (corresponding to the job demands-job control model) and five home ecologies (theorizing an analogous home demands-home control model). Job and home ecologies predicted fit dimensions in an additive, not interactive, fashion. Employees' work-time control predicted every life-course fit dimension and partially mediated effects of job ecologies, organizational tenure, and job category.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-425
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted as part of the Work, Family and Health Network funded by a cooperative agreement through the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant # U01HD051217, U01HD051218, U01HD051256, U01HD051276), National Institute on Aging (Grant # U01AG027669), Office of Behavioral and Science Sciences Research, and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Grant # U010H008788). The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of these institutes and offices. Special acknowledgment goes to Extramural Staff Science Collaborator, Rosalind Berkowitz King, Ph.D. (NICHD) and Lynne Casper, Ph.D. (now of the University of Southern California) for design of the original Workplace, Family, Health and Well-Being Network Initiative. Persons interested in learning more about the Network should go to . Crucial early support for the project was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (#2002-6-8); we thank Kathleen Christensen for facilitating this project. We wish to thank Rachel Maggines, Culture Rx, and Best Buy. Finally, we express our gratitude to the employees who participated in this research.


  • Control over work time
  • Demand-control
  • Job and home ecologies
  • Job and home systems
  • Job strain
  • Life-course fit
  • Role train/enhancement
  • Work time control
  • Work-family


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