Work-family conflict, locus of control, and women's well-being: tests of alternative pathways

J Soc Psychol. 2002 Oct;142(5):645-62. doi: 10.1080/00224540209603924.


The author tested for the 3 possible pathways (i.e., direct, moderator, and mediator effects) in which locus of control can influence the relationship between work-family conflict and well-being. The author predicted that work-family conflict would be negatively correlated with well-being. In a sample of 310 Malaysian employed women with families, work-family conflict was a significant predictor of both job satisfaction and distress--negatively related to job satisfaction and positively related to symptoms of distress. More important, the results provided support for the effects of all 3 pathways of control on the relationship between work-family conflict and well-being, depending on the outcome measure: For job satisfaction, locus of control had direct effects, acted as a partial mediator, and played a significant moderating role. In contrast, only the direct effect of locus of control predicted distress. The author discusses those findings with reference to the literature on work-family conflict, locus of control, and the issue of stress-distress specificity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Family Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Malaysia
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Workload*