Work-to-family conflict and the family dinner: What makes a difference?

Eunae Cho, Tammy D. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the abundant benefits that have been associated with family meals, families report that they share fewer meals together than in the past. Although parents' work (e.g., work hours) is recognized as a barrier to family meals, the role of the individual in determining family meal frequency has received relatively little attention. With this in mind, this study investigated two important person factors that may aggravate or attenuate the negative relationship between work-to-family conflict (WTFC) and family dinner frequency using survey data from employed parents (n =206). Specifically, parents' negative affectivity (NA) and family meal atmosphere were examined as moderators. As hypothesized, the relationship between WTFC and family dinner frequency was stronger for high-NA individuals than for low-NA individuals. However, no support was found for the moderating role of family meal atmosphere. Findings suggest that WTFC may be more deleterious for high-NA individuals due to their tendency to strongly react to stressors and highlight the necessity to consider both situational and individual factors in understanding work-family experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-99
Number of pages12
JournalCommunity, Work and Family
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • family dinner
  • family meal atmosphere
  • negative affectivity
  • work-to-family conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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