Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Relationship among Role Conflicts, Role Satisfactions and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Hong Kong

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Relationship among Role Conflicts, Role Satisfactions and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Hong Kong

Article excerpt

This study investigated the direct effects among work/family conflicts, job, marital and life satisfactions reported by a Hong Kong sample. Seventeen hundred questionnaires were sent to three different professions in Hong Kong and 497 successful responses were obtained. The findings indicated that work and family conflicts as well as interrole conflict affected job satisfaction and marital satisfaction. Likewise, life satisfaction reported by the respondents was affected by their level of job satisfaction and marital satisfaction as well.

Most empirical studies on the interactive effects among various role conflicts and role satisfactions have been largely conducted in the west. However such work is not necessarily applicable to Hong Kong Chinese. Kopelman, Greenhaus, and Connolly (1983) studied relationships among interrole conflict, job satisfaction, family satisfaction, and life satisfaction and found that linkages between role conflict and role satisfaction and between role satisfaction and life satisfaction were strongest. In this research, the model of Kopelman and his associate (1983) was replicated using a four-stage model of the direct effect of role conflicts (work conflict, family conflict, interrole conflict), and on role satisfactions (job satisfaction, marital satisfaction, life satisfaction) reported by a Hong Kong sample.

Work conflict and family conflict occur when the workload from job and family is too great to perform that role adequately. This incompatibility in coping with work and family roles simultaneously is called interrole conflict. Some authors (Bacharach, Bamberger, & Conley, 1991; Higgins, Duxbury, & Irving, 1992; Kopelman et al., 1983) found that there was a positive relationship between role conflict at work and interrole conflict; and work conflict was found to be an important predictor of job satisfaction (Terry, Neilsen, & Perchard, 1993). However, several studies (Hartenian, Hadaway, & Badovick, 1994; Holahan & Gilbert, 1979) have found a negative relationship between work conflict and job satisfaction. Though there were studies showing a weak link (Kopelman et al., 1983) between interrole conflict and job satisfaction, extensive research has found that higher role conflict would lead to lower job satisfaction (Higgins et al.,1992). Literature concerning family conflict-interrole conflict relationships are not much. Holahan and Gilbert (1979) found a negative relationship between spouse support and interrole conflict. On the other hand, it was found that conflict within the family domain was positively related to work-family conflict (Greenhaaus & Beutell, 1985; Kopelman et al. 1983) and family conflict was a significant predictor of interrole conflict (Higgins et al., 1992). Furthermore, negative linkages have been found between family conflict and marital satisfaction (Higgins et al., 1992). Apart from family conflict, marital satisfaction was also affected by interrole conflict (Judge, Boudreau, & Bretz, 1994) and the findings suggested that an increase in interrole conflict would lead to a decrease of marital satisfaction.

Role satisfaction is always tied with life satisfaction, however, no consensus has been reached in the literature. The spillover theory hypothesizes a positive relation while the compensation theory proposes a negative one. At the same time, segmentation theory postulates there should be no relationship between them at all (see Wilensky, 1960). However, despite the fact that inconsistent results were found, most of the researches tended to support the spillover theory (Tait, Padgett, & Baldwin, 1989). For examples, Rain, Lane, and Steiner (1991) concluded that there was a solid positive relationship between job satisfaction and life satisfaction; Lewis and Borders (1995) suggested that there was a correlation between marital status and life satisfaction; and Schmitt and Bedeian (1982) found that both job satisfaction and marital satisfaction were positively related to life satisfaction. …

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