The three constructs of work-family conflict, emotional exhaustion and performance-based self-esteem are all related to tremendous negative consequences for the individual, the organization as well as for society. Even though there are studies that connect two of those constructs, the prospective relations between all three of them have not been studied yet.
We explored the prospective relations between the three constructs in a large Swedish data set representative of the Swedish workforce. Gender differences in the relations were investigated. Longitudinal data with a 2-year time lag were gathered from 3,387 working men and women who responded to the 2006 and 2008 waves of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health. Four different cross-lagged models were analysed.
In the best fitting model, higher levels of work-family conflict at time 1 were associated with an increased level of performance-based self-esteem at time 2, but not with emotional exhaustion, after controlling for having children, gender, education and age. Also, relationships between emotional exhaustion at time 1 and work-family conflict and performance-based self-esteem at time 2 could be established. Furthermore, relationships between performance-based self-esteem time 1 and work-family conflict and emotional exhaustion time 2 were found. Multiple-group analysis did not show any differences in the relations of the tested constructs over time for either men or women.
We conclude that the three constructs are interrelated and best understood through a reciprocal model. No differences were found between men and women.
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