Work-life balance: The experience of Australian Working Mothers

Ibi Losoncz, N Bortolotto

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Research on working mothers to date has largely focused on particular aspects of the work-life balance, such as investigating family and work roles or the interaction between work and family life. This paper explores the use of cluster analysis to simultaneously consider the different aspects of the work-life nexus. Utilising Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey data, six major homogenous groups of working mothers were identified, each with a distinctive profile in terms of their work-family experience. Subsequent descriptive analysis of the six groups found systematic differences between the groups in terms of their characteristics and circumstances. The research found that the majority of working mothers managed their work-life balance successfully. Furthermore, women's aspirations for being a working mother were not consistently associated with how well they coped. Instead, work-life conflict was associated with long working hours, work overload and lack of support from others. Just under 30% of mothers experienced a high level of work-life conflict, and the strong association of work-life balance strain with poor physical and mental health and low satisfaction with work and family life was evident. The paper also explores future use of these clusters in forthcoming longitudinal analysis of the work-life nexus.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)122-138
    JournalJournal of Family Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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