Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)

Department

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Paul R. Yost

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Robert Lewis

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Thane Erickson

Keywords

work-life, framing, balance, conflict, enrichment

Abstract

The frame of mind with which one approaches work-life challenges can impact the decisions made, the roles a person invests in, and satisfaction with one’s decisions. The purpose of this study was threefold: 1) to review and compare the three traditional work-life frames of conflict, enrichment, and balance; 2) to introduce a new frame for work-life management, proactive reflection or “proflection,” and; 3) to test whether approaching work-life management with a particular frame differentially affects an individual’s work-life satisfaction when presented with a scenario with multiple role demands. It was hypothesized that enrichment, balance, and proflection frames will lead to significantly more positive work-life satisfaction, whereas a conflict frame will lead to significantly lower satisfaction, compared to a control condition. Data were collected from 171 participants via a survey on MechanicalTurk (48.2% male, 51.8% female; age M = 35.40 [SD = 12.46]). Participants were randomly assigned to the four framing and control conditions and asked to indicate how they would respond to a challenging scenario with multiple role demands. They were then directed to rate their satisfaction with each role based on their choices, satisfaction with the extent to which interacting roles helped or hurt each other, and satisfaction with roles in their own personal lives. Multiple regression analyses indicated that framing approach was significantly related to scenario role satisfaction (R2 = .072, p = .014, 95% CI [.0002, .143]), role interaction satisfaction (R2 = .056, p = .047, 95% CI [.001, .111]), and was unrelated to personal life role satisfaction (R2 = .01, p = .824). The balance frame led to significantly lower satisfaction than the control condition for scenario role satisfaction (b = -.36, p = .01, 95% CI [-.645, -.082]) and role interaction satisfaction (b = -.41, p = .01, 95% CI [-.706, -.119]). This study draws attention to the importance of being able to choose one’s framing approach for intentional and strategic work-life management, as well as the negative effects of balance that are contrary to prior research.

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