Work-life interaction experiences in women 55 years of age and older
Dessy, Sasha M.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of work-life interaction in women aged 55 years and older. Women’s work-life interaction was measured as the frequency of their experiences of work interference with personal life, personal life interference with work, work enhancement of personal life, and personal life enhancement of work, using the Work-Nonwork Interference and Enhancement Scale (Fisher, Bulger, & Smith, 2009). The relationships between personal and professional background factors (e.g., age, relationship status, caregiver status, education level, hours worked per week) and work-life interference and enhancement were explored. Participants included 94 women, aged 55 years and older, who were working an average of 30 or more hours each week at the time of the study. Participants were recruited via email and an advertising link on social networking websites using snowball sampling (Goodman, 1961). Participants completed an online survey comprised of the Work-Nonwork Interference and Enhancement Scale and a detailed Demographic Questionnaire. A two-factor MANOVA demonstrated statistically significant mean differences between the domains of work and personal life, and between the impacts of interference and enhancement, with a statistically significant interaction between domain and impact. The canonical correlational analysis performed to test the relationship between the set of work-nonwork interaction variables and the set of demographic variables was not statistically significant. Statistically significant modest positive correlations were found between personal life interference with work and both quantitative caregiving (number of care roles) and binary caregiving (any endorsement of care roles). A statistically significant modest positive correlation was found between personal life interference with work and binary personal care assistance, but not with quantitative personal care assistance. The relationships between work interference with personal life and both caregiving and personal care assistance were not statistically significant. To explore engagement in nonwork activities, participants were asked to select the three out of eight nonwork activity domains in which they spend the most time. The current findings are discussed in terms of potential areas for future research, implications for theory on work-life interaction for aging women, and implications for practice and training in counseling psychology.