Work-family conflict and enrichment : a study of college coaches

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Schenewark, Jarrod Denman

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The current work-family literature strongly emphasizes the conflict between the multiple roles that workers and parents assume. This conflict literature leaves readers with the impression that individuals are experiencing stress to a level that detracts from their quality of life (Frone, 2003; Parasuraman, Greenhaus, & Granrose, 1992). A more balanced perspective recognizes both the disadvantages and the potential advantages of engaging in multiple roles. Recent evidence indicates that occupying the roles of worker and spouse/parent may also produce positive outcomes such as greater satisfaction in marriage and on the job (Barnett, 1998; Barnett & Garies, 2006). Greenhaus and Powell (2006) offer one theory that explains the positive interaction between work and family roles by introducing the concept of enrichment, a theory that explains why one role might improve the quality of life in the other role. Using a sample of intercollegiate coaches (N = 286) from institutions located in the United States, this study assessed the influence of work-family conflict and work-family enrichment in relation to occupational and life outcomes for college coaches. Levels of conflict in work-to-family and family-to-work were measured, as well as levels of enrichment in work-to-family and family-to-work. Multiple regression was utilized to analyze six conceptual models with gender, age of participant, the presence of children at home, work-family conflict and work-family enrichment as independent variables. The results indicated work-to-family enrichment ([beta] = .318) and family-to-work enrichment ([beta] = .257) were both significant predictors of life satisfaction (p < .01). Work-to-family conflict ([beta] = -.118) and family-to-work conflict ([beta] = -.269) were significant predictors of life satisfaction (p < .01). Likewise, work-to-family conflict ([beta] = .385) and family-to-work conflict ([beta] = .140) were significant predictors of career commitment (p < .01). Age was a significant predictor of career commitment (p < .05). The findings highlight the need for future theoretical models to include both work-family conflict and work-family enrichment as both contribute uniquely to career and life outcomes. Practical implications include educating athletic administrators of the benefits coaches may accrue as a result of being engaged in both family and work roles.