Trait emotional intelligence and work-family conflict in fathers

Laura Biggart, Philip Corr, Margaret O'Brien, Neil Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of trait emotional intelligence (Trait EI) on work–family conflict is important for individual difference effects in regulating emotion in work–family life. Trait EI’s influence on perceptions of work interfering with family (WIF) life, and family life interfering with work (FIW) performance, is of special relevance and was examined in 179 employed fathers. It was hypothesised that Trait EI would negatively predict both WIF and FIW in a model containing known WIF/FIW antecedents. In addition, of the four Trait EI factors (Self-control, Emotionality, Sociability and Well-being), Trait EI Emotionality would predict WIF, Trait EI Self control would predict FIW, and Trait EI Sociability would predict both WIF and FIW, all negatively. Results confirmed the first and third hypotheses: regression analyses revealed that Trait EI was negatively associated with levels of WIF and FIW, as was Trait EI Self-control, indicating that fathers who are able to regulate their emotions experience less work–family conflict. Neither Trait EI factors of Emotionality nor Sociability significantly predicted WIF or FIW. The implications of these findings for work–family balance are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-916
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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