Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Projects and researches
Published: 2021-06-19

Determinants of work-family conflict in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

University of Bucharest, Department of Psychology
work-family conflict job insecurity job demands and resources teleworking COVID-19


In this paper, we want to investigate some determinants of work-family conflict. Factors related to job (job insecurity, job demands and resources, type of job, salary level, time spent at work, working conditions in the pandemic) and aspects such as fear of COVID-19 will be explored. The present study involved 301 people, aged between 18 and 65 years, M = 40.10, AS = 8.25. The instruments used were Work and Family Conflict Scale (Haslam et al., 2015), Job Insecurity Scale (De witte et al., 2000, 2010), The Job Demands-Resources Questionnaire (Bakker et al., 2014) and The Fear of COVID-19 Scale (Ahorsu et al., 2020). The results indicated that both job insecurity and workplace pressure are positive predictors of the work-family conflict, while autonomy is a negative predictor. Also, the moderating effect of fear of COVID-19 on the relationship between job insecurity and work-family conflict was analyzed, but it proved to be statistically insignificant. However, it was found that employees working from home during this period have a higher level of work-family conflict. Based on these results, work-family conflict management strategies can be developed, both individually and by organizations.


  1. Abendroth, A.-K., & Reimann, M. (2018). Chapter 15 Telework and Work–Family Conflict across Workplaces: Investigating the Implications of Work–Family-Supportive and High-Demand Workplace Cultures. Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research, 323–348.
  2. Ahorsu, D. K., Lin, C.-Y., Imani, V., Saffari, M., Griffiths, M. D., & Pakpour, A. H. (2020). The Fear of COVID-19 Scale: Development and Initial Validation. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.
  3. Alyami, M., de Albuquerque, J. V., Krägeloh, C. U., Alyami, H., & Henning, M. A. (2021). Effects of Fear of COVID-19 on Mental Well-Being and Quality of Life among Saudi Adults: A Path Analysis. Saudi Journal of Medicine and MedicalSciences, 9(1), 24.
  4. Ashforth, B. E., Kreiner, G. E., & Fugate, M. (2000). All in a Day'S Work: Boundaries and Micro Role Transitions. Academy of Management Review, 25(3), 472–491.
  5. Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The Job Demands‐ Resources model: state of the art. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22(3), 309–328.
  6. Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2014). Job Demands- Resources Theory. Wellbeing, 1–28.
  7. Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., & Euwema, M. C. (2005). Job Resources Buffer the Impact of Job Demands on Burnout. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 10(2), 170–180.
  8. Bakker, A. B., ten Brummelhuis, L. L., Prins, J. T., & der Heijden, F. M. M. A. (2011). Applying the job demands– resources model to the work–home interface: A study among medical residents and their partners. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79(1), 170–180.
  10. Bakker, A. B., ten Brummelhuis, L. L., Prins, J. T., & der Heijden, F. M. M. A. (2011). Applying the job demands– resources model to the work–home interface: A study among medical residents and their partners. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79(1), 170–180.
  11. Bakker, A. B., Van Emmerik, H., & Van Riet, P. (2008). How job demands, resources, and burnout predict objective performance: A constructive replication. Anxiety, Stress & Coping, 21(3), 309–324.
  13. Balogun, A. G., Afolabi, O. A., & Ibini, O. D. (2020). Job Demands as Mediators between Work Engagement and Work-family Conflict. Nigerian Journal of Psychological Research.
  14. Berdicchia, D., & Masino, G. (2019). The Ambivalent Effects of Participation on Performance and Job Stressors: The Role of Job Crafting and Autonomy. Human Performance, 32(5), 220–241.
  15. Bowling, N. A., & Kirkendall, C. (2012). Workload: A Review of Causes, Consequences, and Potential Interventions. Contemporary Occupational Health Psychology, 221–238.
  16. Bowling, N. A., Alarcon, G. M., Bragg, C. B., & Hartman, M. J. (2015). A meta-analytic examination of the potential correlates and consequences of workload. Work & Stress, 29(2), 95–113.
  17. Brauchli, R., Bauer, G. F., & Hämmig, O. (2014). Job Autonomy Buffers the Impact of Work–Life Conflict on Organizational Outcomes. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 73(2), 77–86.
  18. Campione, W. (2008). Employed Women’s Well-Being: The Global and Daily Impact of Work. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 29(3), 346–361.
  19. Clark, S. C. (2000). Work/Family Border Theory: A New Theory of Work/Family Balance. Human Relations, 53(6), 747–770.
  20. Coelho, C. M., Suttiwan, P., Arato, N., & Zsido, A. N. (2020). On the Nature of Fear and Anxiety Triggered by COVID-19. Frontiers in Psychology, 11.
  21. Cooklin, A. R., Westrupp, E., Strazdins, L., Giallo, R., Martin, A., & Nicholson, J. M. (2014). Mothers' work–family conflict and enrichment: associations with parenting quality and couple relationship. Child: Care, Health and Development, 41(2), 266–277.
  22. Davy, J. A., Kiniki, A. J., & Scheck, C. L. (1997). A test of job security's direct and mediated effects on withdrawal cognitions. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 18(4), 323– 349. 1379(199707)18:4<323::aid-job801>;2-#
  23. De Witte, H. (1999). Job Insecurity and Psychological Well- being: Review of the Literature and Exploration of Some Unresolved Issues. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 8(2), 155–177.
  24. De Witte, H. (2000). Arbeidsethos en jobonzekerheid: Meting en gevolgen voor welzijn, tevredenheid en inzet op het werk [Work ethic and job insecurity: Measurement and consequences for well-being, satisfaction and productivity].
  25. R. Bouwen, K. De Witte, H. De Witte, & T. Taillieu (Eds.), Van Groep Naar Gemeenschap. Liber Amicorum Prof. Dr Leo Lagrou.
  26. De Witte, H., De Cuyper, N., Handaja, Y., Sverke, M., Näswall, K., & Hellgren, J. (2010). Associations Between Quantitative and Qualitative Job Insecurity and Well-Being. International Studies of Management & Organization, 40(1), 40–56.
  27. Delanoeije, J., & Verbruggen, M. (2020). Between-person and within-person effects of telework: a quasi-field experiment. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 29(6), 795–808. Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., Nachreiner, F., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2001). The job demands-resources model of burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 499–512.
  28. Demerouti, E., Bouwman, K., & Sanz-Vergel, A. I. (2011). Job Resources Buffer the Impact of Work-Family Conflict on Absenteeism in Female Employees. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 10(4), 166–176. 5888/a000044
  29. Derks, D., van Duin, D., Tims, M., & Bakker, A. B. (2014). Smartphone use and work-home interference: The moderating role of social norms and employee work engagement. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 88(1), 155–177.
  30. Dijst, M. (2004). ICTs and Accessibility: An Action Space Perspective on the Impact of New Information and Communication Technologies. Advances in Spatial Science, 27–46.
  31. Dingel, J. I., & Neiman, B. (2020). How many jobs can be done at home? Journal of Public Economics, 189, 104235.
  32. Duxbury, L., Higgins, C., & Lee, C. (1994). Work-Family Conflict: A Comparison by Gender, Family Type, and Perceived Control. Journal of Family Issues, 15(3), 449– 466.
  33. Eddleston, K. A., & Mulki, J. (2017). Toward Understanding Remote Workers’ Management of Work–Family Boundaries: The Complexity of Workplace Embeddedness. Group & Organization Management, 42(3).
  34. Edwards, J. R., & Rothbard, N. P. (2000). Mechanisms Linking Work and Family: Clarifying the Relationship between Work and Family Constructs. The Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 178.
  35. Engelhard, I. M., van Uijen, S. L., van Seters, N., & Velu, N. (2015). The Effects of Safety Behavior Directed Towards a Safety Cue on Perceptions of Threat. Behavior Therapy, 46(5), 604–610.
  36. Flint, E., Bartley, M., Shelton, N., & Sacker, A. (2013). Do labour market status transitions predict changes in psychological well-being? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 67(9), 796–802.
  37. Gadeyne, N., Verbruggen, M., Delanoeije, J., & De Cooman, R. (2018). All wired, all tired? Work-related ICT-use outside work hours and work-to-home conflict: The role of integration preference, integration norms and work demands. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 107, 86–99.
  38. Gilboa, S., Shirom, A., Fried, Y., & Cooper, C. (2008). A meta-analysis of work demand stressors and job performance: examining main and moderating effects. Personnel Psychology, 61(2), 227–271.
  39. Glavin, P., & Schieman, S. (2012). Work–Family Role Blurring and Work–Family Conflict. Work and Occupations, 39(1), 71–98.
  40. Grant, C. A., Wallace, L. M., Spurgeon, P. C., Tramontano, C., & Charalampous, M. (2019). Construction and initial validation of the E-Work Life Scale to measure remote e- working. Employee Relations, 41(1), 16–33.
  41. Greenhaus, J. H., & Beutell, N. J. (1985). Sources of Conflict between Work and Family Roles. The Academy of Management Review, 10(1), 76.
  42. Greenhaus, J. H., Parasuraman, S., Granrose, C. S., Rabinowitz, S., & Beutell, N. J. (1989). Sources of work- family conflict among two-career couples. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 34(2), 133–153.
  43. Gregory, A., & Milner, S. (2009). Work-life Balance: A Matter of Choice? Gender, Work & Organization, 16(1), 1–13. Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1976). Motivation through the design of work: test of a theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 16(2), 250–279.
  44. Hamouche, S. (2020). COVID-19 and employees’ mental health: stressors, moderators and agenda for organizational actions. Emerald Open Research, 2, 15.
  45. Han, K.-M., Shin, C., Yoon, H.-K., Ko, Y.-H., Kim, Y.-K., & Han, C. (2018). Emotional labor and depressive mood in service and sales workers: Interactions with gender and job autonomy. Psychiatry Research, 267, 490–498.
  46. Haslam, D., Filus, A., Morawska, A., Sanders, M. R., & Fletcher, R. (2014). The Work–Conflict Scale (WAFCS): Development and Initial Validation of a Self-report Measure of Work–Family Conflict for Use with Parents. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 46(3), 346–357.
  47. Hofstede, G. J. (2017). Hofstede Insights Organizational Culture Consulting. Hofstede Insights.
  48. Höge, T., Sora, B., Weber, W. G., Peiró, J. M., & Caballer, A. (2015). Job insecurity, worries about the future, and somatic complaints in two economic and cultural contexts: A study in Spain and Austria. International Journal of Stress Management, 22(3), 223–242.
  50. IFC Survey Reveals Extent of COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Global Trade Finance. International Finance Corporation. (2020).
  51. 279.
  52. Inoue, A., Kawakami, N., Eguchi, H., & Tsutsumi, A. (2018). Interaction effect of job insecurity and role ambiguity on psychological distress in Japanese employees: a cross- sectional study. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 91(4), 391–402.
  53. Jiang, L., & Probst, T. M. (2016). A multilevel examination of affective job insecurity climate on safety outcomes. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 21(3), 366–377.
  54. Kaduk, A., Genadek, K., Kelly, E. L., & Moen, P. (2019). Involuntary vs. voluntary flexible work: insights for scholars and stakeholders. Community, Work & Family, 22(4), 412– 442.
  55. Kahn, R. L., Wolfe, D. M., Quinn, R. P., Snoek, J. D., & Rosenthal, R. A. (1964). Organizational Stress: Studies in Role Conflict and Ambiguity. American Journal of Sociology, 71(1), 103–104.
  56. Kazekami, S. (2020). Mechanisms to improve labor productivity by performing telework. Telecommunications Policy, 44(2), 101868.
  58. Keim, A. C., Landis, R. S., Pierce, C. A., & Earnest, D. R. (2014). Why do employees worry about their jobs? A meta- analytic review of predictors of job insecurity. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19(3), 269–290.
  59. Keim, A. C., Landis, R. S., Pierce, C. A., & Earnest, D. R. (2014). Why do employees worry about their jobs? A meta- analytic review of predictors of job insecurity. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19(3), 269–290.
  60. Kim, T. J., & von dem Knesebeck, O. (2015). Is an insecure job better for health than having no job at all? A systematic review of studies investigating the health-related risks of both job insecurity and unemployment. BMC Public Health, 15(1).
  61. Korunka, C., & Kubicek, B. (2017). Job Demands in a Changing World of Work. 54678-0_1
  62. Lin, C.-Y. (2020). Social reaction toward the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Social Health and Behavior, 3(1), 1.
  63. Lu, J. G., Brockner, J., Vardi, Y., & Weitz, E. (2017). The dark side of experiencing job autonomy: Unethical behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 73, 222–234.
  64. Menaghan, E. G. (1991). Work Experiences and Family Interaction Processes: The Long Reach of the Job? Annual Review of Sociology, 17(1), 419–444.
  65. Mertens, G., Gerritsen, L., Duijndam, S., Salemink, E., & Engelhard, I. M. (2020). Fear of the coronavirus (COVID- 19): Predictors in an online study conducted in March 2020. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 74, 102258.
  66. Mirchandani, K. (2000). “The Best of Both Worlds” and “Cutting My Own Throat”: Contradictory Images of Home- Based Work. Qualitative Sociology, 23(2), 159–182.
  67. Mohr, G. B. (2000). The changing significance of different stressors after the announcement of bankruptcy: a longitudinal investigation with special emphasis on job insecurity. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21(3), 337– 359. 1379(200005)21:3<337::aid-job18>;2-g
  68. Mokhtarian, P. L., & Salomon, I. (1997). Emerging travel patterns: Do telecommunications make a difference?
  69. Molina, J. A. (2020). The Work–Family Conflict: Evidence from the Recent Decade and Lines of Future Research. Journal of Family and Economic Issues.
  70. Moore, J. (2006). Homeworking and work-life balance: does it add to quality of life? European Review of Applied Psychology, 56(1), 5–13.
  71. Morris, J. A., & Feldman, D. C. (1996). The Dimensions, Antecedents, and Consequences of Emotional Labor. The Academy of Management Review, 21(4), 986.
  72. Nahrgang, J. D., Morgeson, F. P., & Hofmann, D. A. (2011). Safety at work: A meta-analytic investigation of the link between job demands, job resources, burnout, engagement, and safety outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(1), 71–94.
  73. Nauman, S., Zheng, C., & Naseer, S. (2020). Job insecurity and work–family conflict. International Journal of Conflict Management, 31(5), 729–751.
  74. Nicola, M., Alsafi, Z., Sohrabi, C., Kerwan, A., Al-Jabir, A., Iosifidis, C., Agha, M., & Agha, R. (2020). The socio- economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID- 19): A review. International Journal of Surgery, 78, 185–193.
  75. Nilles, J. M., Carlson, F. R., Gray, P., & Hanneman, G. (1976). Telecommuting - An Alternative to Urban Transportation Congestion. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, SMC-6(2), 77–84.
  76. Pappas, G., Kiriaze, I. J., Giannakis, P., & Falagas, M. E. (2009). Psychosocial consequences of infectious diseases. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 15(8), 743–747.
  77. Purwanto, A., Asbari, M., Fahlevi, M., Mufid, A., Agistiawati, E., Cahyono, Y., & Suryani, P. (2020). Impact of Work From Home (WFH) on Indonesian teachers performance during the Covid-19 pandemic: An exploratory study. International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology, 29(5).
  78. Roe, R., & Zijlstra, F. (2000). Work pressure. Results of a conceptual and empirical analysis. Hogrefe & Huber Publishers. _pressure_Results_of_a_conceptual_and_empirical_analy sis
  79. Schaufeli, W. B., & Bakker, A. B. (2004). Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: a multi-sample study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(3), 293–315.
  80. Seery, B. L., Corrigall, E. A., & Harpel, T. (2008). Job- Related Emotional Labor and Its Relationship to Work- Family Conflict and Facilitation. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 29(3), 461–477.
  81. Spurk, D., & Straub, C. (2020). Flexible employment relationships and careers in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 119, 103435.
  82. Sverke, M., Hellgren, J., & Näswall, K. (2002). No security: A meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(3), 242–264.
  83. Tay, L., Kuykendall, L., & Diener, E. (2015). Satisfaction and Happiness – The Bright Side of Quality of Life. Global Handbook of Quality of Life, 839–853.
  84. Teo, J. (2020). More Working from Home Feel Stressed Than Those on Covid-19 Front Line: Survey. The Straits Times.
  85. from-homers-feel-stressed-than-front-line-workers- singapore-survey-on.
  86. Vander Elst, T., Näswall, K., Bernhard-Oettel, C., De Witte, H., & Sverke, M. (2016). The effect of job insecurity on employee health complaints: A within-person analysis of the explanatory role of threats to the manifest and latent benefits of work. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 21(1), 65–76.
  87. Vyas, L., & Butakhieo, N. (2020). The impact of working from home during COVID-19 on work and life domains: an exploratory study on Hong Kong. Policy Design and Practice, 1–18.
  88. Wall, T. D., Kemp, N. J., Jackson, P. R., & Clegg, C. W. (1986). Outcomes of Autonomous Workgroups: A Long- Term Field Experiment. Academy of Management Journal, 29(2), 280–304.
  89. Wang, H.-jiang, Lu, C.-qin, & Siu, O.-ling. (2015). Job insecurity and job performance: The moderating role of organizational justice and the mediating role of work engagement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(4), 1249– 1258.
  90. Xanthopoulou, D., Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2009). Work engagement and financial returns: A diary study on the role of job and personal resources. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82(1), 183–200.
  91. Zhou, X., Snoswell, C. L., Harding, L. E., Bambling, M., Edirippulige, S., Bai, X., & Smith, A. C. (2020). The Role of Telehealth in Reducing the Mental Health Burden from COVID-19. Telemedicine and e-Health, 26(4), 377–379.
  92. Ünsar, S. A. (2011). Effect of motivation on severance tendency: a field research. J. Acad. Sight.

How to Cite

Sedaroglu, M. (2021). Determinants of work-family conflict in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Studia Doctoralia, 12(1), 20–34.