Date of Award
College of Education and Professional Development
Type of Degree
This study intended to determine 1) if, among administrators in higher education, commitment to the work role, commitment to the family role, and work-family role conflict varied by gender and other demographic variables, and 2) what combination of variables best explained level of work-family role conflict in this population.
A random sample, stratified by type of institution, was selected from the 4,679 department chairs in 196 public colleges and universities in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) member states. Questionnaires measured work commitment (Organizational Commitment, Career Commitment, Job Involvement), Family Commitment, work-family role conflict, and demographic variables. One-way analysis of variance and multiple regression procedures were used for data analysis.
Several findings were significant. Family Commitment was greatest for males, for those who had more than one child, and those whose spouse did not work outside the home. The oldest department chairs and those who had the highest tenure in their careers, had significantly higher work commitment than younger administrators. Work-family role conflict was greatest for the youngest respondents who had the fewest years of tenure in their careers and organizations and had young children. A combination of age, Organizational Commitment, and Job Involvement were helpful in explaining Professional vs Spouse conflict. These variables, plus the number of adults in the household, were helpful in explaining Professional vs Parent conflict.
Administrators in this sample expressed commitment to their work and their families and experienced conflict between these roles. However, conflict was most severe among young administrators, just beginning their careers. Since work commitment explained only a relatively small portion of conflict, other factors such as internalization of expectations from work and family role partners appear to contribute to conflict. If institutions are to attract and hold the commitment of young administrators, research is needed to examine institutional changes and personal coping strategies that allow persons to minimize work-family role conflict.
The University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies became the WV Graduate College in 1992 and was subsequently merged with Marshall University in 1997.
College administrators – Family relationships – Southern States.
Women college administrators – Family relationships – Southern States.
Work and family – Southern States.
Sex role in the work environment – Southern States.
Karickhoff, Maudie Elizabeth, "Gender differences in work and family commitments and their effect on work-family role conflict among administrators in higher education" (1993). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 1496.