Work–family conflict and spouse’s job performance: When detaching from home is key

Ana Isabel Sanz-Vergel, Alfredo Rodríguez-Muñoz, Mirko Antino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Work–family conflict (WFC) is a common experience which frequently affects employees’ performance and wellbeing. But among dual-earner couples, is it possible that employees’ WFC relates to spouses’ job performance? Why does this occur and what are the associated consequences? Drawing on crossover literature and the stressor–detachment model, we explore a number of crossover and spillover effects. Specifically, we propose that employees’ WFC negatively affects spouses’ home detachment and job performance on the next day (crossover effects), which relates to spouses’ lower work detachment (spillover effects). We conducted a diary study among 145 working couples who responded to a daily survey over five consecutive working days (N = 1450 occasions). Our results from multilevel analyses largely supported our hypotheses. Employees’ WFC predicted lower home detachment of spouses on the following day, which, in turn, negatively affected spouses’ performance and work detachment. These findings show that WFC affects spouses beyond the family domain and that detachment from family-related issues is key to performing well and disconnecting from work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWork & Stress
Early online date27 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Mar 2024

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