Persistent work-life conflict and health satisfaction - A representative longitudinal study in Switzerland

Knecht, Michaela K.; Bauer, Georg F.; Gutzwiller, Felix; Hämmig, Oliver
January 2011
BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p271
Academic Journal
Background: The objectives of the present study were (1) to track work-life conflict in Switzerland during the years 2002 to 2008 and (2) to analyse the relationship between work-life conflict and health satisfaction, examining whether long-term work-life conflict leads to poor health satisfaction. Methods: The study is based on a representative longitudinal database (Swiss Household Panel), covering a sixyear period containing seven waves of data collection. The sample includes 1261 persons, with 636 men and 625 women. Data was analysed by multi-level mixed models and analysis of variance with repeated measures. Results: In the overall sample, there was no linear increase or decrease of work-life conflict detected, in either its time-based or strain-based form. People with higher education were more often found to have a strong work-life conflict (time- and strain-based), and more men demonstrated a strong time-based work-life conflict than women (12.2% vs. 5%). A negative relationship between work-life conflict and health satisfaction over time was found. People reporting strong work-life conflict at every wave reported lower health satisfaction than people with consistently weak work-life conflict. However, the health satisfaction of those with a continuously strong work-life conflict did not decrease during the study period. Conclusions: Both time-based and strain-based work-life conflict are strongly correlated to health satisfaction. However, no evidence was found for a persistent work-life conflict leading to poor health satisfaction.


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