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Family worries can cause conflict at work

Date:
June 30, 2014
Source:
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Summary:
Worrying about family problems during work time increases conflict with work colleagues, which can lead to spousal arguments at home in the evening. "These findings may help us to better understand how family-work conflict affects our relationships with others both at work and at home and on a daily basis," said researchers.

Worrying about family problems during work time increases conflict with work colleagues, which can lead to spousal arguments at home in the evening.

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A study conducted by Dr Ana Sanz-Vergel and colleagues from the University of East Anglia's Norwich Business School and Complutense University of Madrid, Spain asked participants to rate how much family conflict had affected their concentration at work, and how much they had experienced rudeness and arguments with their colleagues and with their partner. The findings are published in the British Psychological Society's Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

Dr Sanz-Vergel said: "Previous studies have demonstrated that psychological and physical job demands, role ambiguity, shift work or job insecurity can cause conflicts between work colleagues.

"In this study we examined how worrying about family issues can interfere with work and affect interactions with colleagues at work and with partners at home."

Some eighty couples (mean age 42 years) working in twenty-five different organizations filled in a general socio-demographic questionnaires and also completed a survey twice each day over a working week. Nearly 70 per cent of couples had at least one child.

Daily interpersonal conflicts at work and daily family-work conflicts were measured at the end of the workday (in the afternoon). Daily interpersonal conflicts at home were reported before going to bed in the evening.

Dr Sanz Vergel said: "The difficulty of focusing on work when distracted by family worries made employees irritable. This led to them reacting negatively towards colleagues instead of using more adaptive strategies, such as seeking social support or being assertive. This negativity is transferred to the home in the form of increased conflict with their partners.

"These findings may help us to better understand how family-work conflict affects our relationships with others both at work and at home and on a daily basis."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Psychological Society (BPS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ana Isabel Sanz-Vergel, Alfredo Rodrνguez-Muρoz, Karina Nielsen. The thin line between work and home: the spillover and crossover of daily conflicts. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/joop.12075

Cite This Page:

British Psychological Society (BPS). "Family worries can cause conflict at work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094654.htm>.
British Psychological Society (BPS). (2014, June 30). Family worries can cause conflict at work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094654.htm
British Psychological Society (BPS). "Family worries can cause conflict at work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094654.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

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