Abstract: Does Gender have a Moderating influence on Workload demands and Work life conflict? A Sample of Human Service Employees in New York City (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

349Pa Does Gender have a Moderating influence on Workload demands and Work life conflict? A Sample of Human Service Employees in New York City

Friday, January 18, 2019
Continental Parlors 1-3, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Akanksha Anand, PhD, GRA, Fordham University
Background and Purpose: Work-life related stressors are common among workers at social services agencies1,6. Stressors are present for both women and men in human services but managing work-life conflict is more challenging for women than men1,2,13,17. More women are stressed than men by their greater workload and by greater responsibilities from their duties at work and home17. Work-life conflict (WLC) negatively affects their health and wellbeing outcomes. This conflict is positively associated with substance abuse, depression, high turnover, and job dissatisfaction2,3. Research scholars argue that perceived control over some work roles and situations buffers or helps manage ones workloads, which in turn reduces work-life conflict. Conservation of resources (COR) 4 theory argues that employees who use work and homes related resources to manage the workload demands could significantly experience reduced work life-conflict. The protecting, gaining, and preserving resources (i.e., energy, time, and support) reduces workload demands and decreases work-life conflict. Handling a high workload using appropriate resources available would lead to greater perceptions of control in managing conflict at work and home16,17.

Methods: This study surveyed 253 employees working in a nonprofit human service agency located in New York City (53% response rate) in Fall 2016. Cronbach’s alphas for the study’s measures were above the accepted cut off and one measure was below at (α =.77). For construct validity, all survey items loaded heavily onto their respective factors above .41. Discriminant validity was established using maximum likelihood estimation with varimax rotation. Procedures by Aiken and West12 were utilized to test the three hypotheses in SPSS 2412. No item cross-loaded on to another factor above .27. Finally, except for two extreme outliers, no violations of OLR regression were noted.

Results: Support was observed for two hypotheses. Significant main effect was found for workload demands (β = .35, p < .05), and gender (β = .08, n.s). And workload demands x gender interaction (β = -.51, p < .05) on the criterion measures was found to be significant. Further, the two-way gender x workload demands interaction term explained 7.6% of the variance in work life conflict, which is 10 times larger than a typical categorical interaction for men and women in the same job.

Conclusion and Implications: Research findings contribute to the social work literature by being the first known empirical work showing that gender moderates the relationship between work demands and work life conflict. In order to reduce work life conflict, nonprofit human service agencies should institute gender sensitive polices; which in turn would increase employees control over their work and home responsibilities. Women who experience higher conflict under increasing workloads with the access to resources could better manage the conflict. This would effectively facilitate gender sensitive practices. Future research would explore replication of these findings in different social work settings like hospitals and child welfare reporting high work life conflict.