Policy or Participation? Family-Responsive Policy, Labor Force Participation and Conflict between Work and Family

Leah Ruppanner, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Boundaries between work and family are often porous contributing to inter-role strain. Individual-level approaches to work-family conflict are well theorized and empirically supported. However, less is known about how macro-level contextual factors structure individual level work-family conflict. This study fills this gap by (a) modeling conflict in two directions - from work-family and family-work; (b) situating these individual reports within the macro-level context of welfare state policy and labor market participation; (c) analyzing cross-level interactions by gender and parental status. To assess these relationships, I pair individual-level data from the 2002 International Social Survey Program for more than 14,000 respondents in 29 countries with macro-level measures of policy (childcare enrollment and female parliamentary representation) and participation (percent of mothers’ of young children working full-time and mean full-time weekly work hours). The results demonstrate country-level policy and participation have differential effects by gender and parental status.

  See paper

Presented in Session 23: Comparative Perspectives on Family Policy and Outcomes