Work to Family Conflict Scale


This measure, (Work to Family Conflict) developed by Stephens and Sommer (1996), assesses work­ family conflict. The measure uses 14 items to describe conflicts that origi­ nate in the workplace and may affect the family. The measure attempts to described these conflicts using three dimensions. These are time-based conflict resulting from the competition for an individual’s time from multi­ ple roles; strain-based conflict resulting from conditions where stressors in one domain induce physical or psychological strain in the individual, ham­ pering role fulfillment in one or both domains; and behavior-based conflict that occurs when patterns of behavior appropriate to each domain are incompatible.


The behavior-based dimension had a coefficient alpha of .80. The time­ based dimension had a coefficient alpha of .74. The strain-based dimension had a coefficient alpha of .77 (Stephens & Sommer, 1996).


Stephens and Sommer (1996) examined the items with exploratory factor analysis and found three latent factors. Eight items covering both time-based and strain-based work-home conflict loaded on one factor, and the remain­ ing six items loaded on two factors. One of these factors contained the posi­ tively worded items describing strain due to behavior-based conflict, and the other contained the negatively worded behavior-based conflict items. Because negatively worded items can create dimensions associated only with the direction of the item wording, the six behavior-related items seemed to represent a single conceptual dimension factor (Stephens & Sommer, 1996). Confirmatory factor analysis in a separate sample found three factors. One factor contained the behavior-related items, the second factor contained four time-based items, and the third factor contained four strain-based items.


Stephens, G. K., & Sommer, S. M. (1996). The measurement of work to fam­ ily conflict. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 56(3), 475-486. Copyright© 1996 by Sage Publications, Inc. Items were taken from Table 5, p484. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc.


Responses are obtained using a 7-point Likert-type scale where 1 = strongly disagree and 7 = strongly agree.

Time-based conflict items:

  1. My work keeps me from my family more than I would like
  2. My work takes up time that I feel I should spend with my family
  3. The time I must devote to my job does not keep me from participating equally in household responsibilities and activities
  4. I generally seem to have enough time to fulfill my potential both in my career and as a spouse and parent

Strain-based conflict items:

  1. I often feel the strain of attempting to balance my responsibilities at work and home
  2. Because my work is so demanding, I am often irritable at home
  3. The demands of my job make it difficult for me to maintain the kind of relationship with my spouse and children that I would like
  4. The tension of balancing my responsibilities at home and work often causes me to feel emotionally drained

Behavior-based conflict items:

  1. The problem-solving approaches I use in my job are effective in resolving problems at home
  2. The things I do that make me effective at work also help me to be a better parent and spouse
  3. What works for me at home seems to be effective at work as well, and vice versa
  4. I am not able to act the same way at home as at work
  5. I act differently in responding to interpersonal problems at work than I do at home
  6. Behavior that is effective and necessary for me at work would be counter-productive at home