Communication Technology Use for Work at Home during Off-job Time and Work–Family Conflict: The Roles of Family Support and Psychological Detachment

Zhengyuan Wang, Xi Chen, Yongjia Duan


This article studies the influence of communication technology use for work at home during off-job time on work-family conflict based on work-family border theory, and highlights the roles of psychological detachment and family support. Based on 423 samples, we use regression analysis to test hypotheses. The results show that communication technology use for work at home during off-job time is positively related to employee’s work-family conflict, including time-based conflict and strain-based conflict. Besides, family support moderates the impact of communication technology use for work at home on employee’s work-family conflict. Furthermore, psychological detachment mediates the moderating effect of family support on the relationship between communication technology use for work at home and employee’s work-family conflict. Theoretical and practical implications, limitations, and future studies are discussed.


communication technology use for work at home; work-family conflict; family support; psychological detachment; work-family border

Full Text:



Adkins, C. L, & Premeaux, S. A. (2014). The use of communication technology to manage work-home boundaries. Journal of Behavioral & Applied Management, 15(2), 82-100.

Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple Regression: Testing and Interpreting Interactions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Allen, T. D., & Finkelstein, L. M. (2014). Work–family conflict among members of full-time dual-earner couples: An examination of family life stage, gender, and age. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19(13), 376-384. doi: 10.1037/a0036 941.

Bagger, J., & Li, A. (2014). How does supervisory family support influence employees’ attitudes and behaviors? A social exchange perspective. Journal of Management, 40(4), 1123-1150. doi: 10.1177/0149206311413922.

Behson, S. J. (2002). Coping with family-to-work conflict: The role of informal work accommodations to family. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(4), 324- 341. doi:10.1037/1076-8998.7.4.324.

Boswell, W. R., & Olson-Buchanan, J. B. (2007). The use of communication technologies after hours: The role of work attitudes and work-life conflict. Journal of Management, 33(4), 592-610. doi: 10.1177/0149206307302552.

Byron, D.(2005). A meta-analytic review of work-family conflict and its antecedents. Journal of vocational behavior, 67(2), 169-198. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2004.08.009.

Caren, B. F., Elizabeth, B., Dena, B. D., & Joseph, S. (2002). Sources of social support and burnout, job satisfaction, and productivity. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 7(1), 84-93. doi:10.1037/1076-8998.7.1.84

Carlson, D. S. (1999). Personality and role variables as predictors of three forms of work-family conflict. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 5(2), 111-126. doi:10.1006/ jv be.1999.1680.

Chesley, N. (2005). Blurring boundaries? Linking technology use, spillover, individual distress, and family satisfaction. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(5), 1237-1248. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2005.00213.x.

Chesley, N., Moen, P., & Shore, R. P. (2003). It's about time: Couples and careers. New York, NY: Cornell University Press.

Clark, S. C. (2000). Work/family border theory: A new theory of work/family balance. Human Relations, 53(6), 747-770. doi: 10.1177/0018726700536001.

Crzywacz, J. G., & Marks, N. F. (2000). Reconceptualizing the work-family interface: An ecological perspective on the correlates of positive and negative spillover between work and family. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 5(1), 111-126. doi:10. 1037/1076-8998.5.1.111.

Edley, P. P. (2001). Technology, employed mothers, and corporate colonization of the life world: A gendered paradox of work and family balance. Women and Language, 24(2), 28-35.

Ellison, N. B. (2004). Telework and social change: How technology is reshaping the boundaries between home and work. Westport, CT: Praeger

Etzion, D., Eden, D., & Lapidot, Y. (1998). Relief from job stressors and burnout: Reserve service as a respite. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(4), 377-585. doi: 10. 1037/0021-9010.83.4.577.

Fritz, C., Yankelevich, M., Zarubin, A., & Barger, P. (2010). Happy, healthy and productive? The role of detachment from work during non-work time. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(5), 977-983. doi:10.1037/a0019462.

Golden, A. G. (2013). The structuration of information and communication technologies and work life interrelationships: Shared organizational and family rules and resources and implications for work in a high-technology organization. Communication Monographs, 80(1),101-123. doi: 10.1080/03637751.2012.739702.

Greenhaus, J. H., Bedeian, A. G., & Mossholders, K. W. (1987). Work experience, job performance, and feelings of personal and family well-being. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 31(2): 200-215. doi:10.1016/0001-8791(87)90057-1.

Greenhaus, J. H., & Beutell, N. J. (1985). Sources of conflict between work and family roles. Academy of Management Review, 10(1), 76-88. doi: 10.5465/AMR.1985.427 7352.

Hall, D. T., & Richter J. (1988). Balancing work life and home life: What can organizations do to help? Academy of Management Executive, 2(3), 213-223. doi: 10. 5465/AME.1988.4277258.

Hui, C., Lee, C., & Rousseau, D. M. (2004). Psychological contract and organizational citizenship behavior in China: investigating generalizability and instrumentality. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(2), 311-321. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.89.2.311.

Kelloway, E. K., Gottlieb, B. H., & Barham, L. (1999). The source, nature, and direction of work and family conflict: A longitudinal investigation. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 4(4), 337-346. doi:10.1037/1076-8998.4.4.337.

König, A., Kammerlander, N., & Enders, A. (2013). The family innovator’s dilemma: How family influence affects the adoption of discontinuous technologies by incumbent firms. Academy of Management Review, 38(3): 428-441. doi: 10.5465/a mr.2011.0162.

Madsen, S. R. (2003). The effects of home-based teleworking on work-family conflict. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 14(1): 35-58. doi: 10.1002/hrdq.1049.

Muller, D., Judd, C. M., & Yzerbyt, V. Y. (2005). When moderation is meditated and mediation is moderated. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(6), 852- 863. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.89.6.852.

Parasurman, S., & Simmers, C. A. (2001). Type of employment, work-family conflict and well-being: A comparative study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22(5), 551- 568. doi: 10.1002/job. 102.

Park, Y., Fritz, C., & Jex, S. M. (2011). Relationships between work-home segmentation and psychological detachment from work: The role of communication technology use at home. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 16(4), 457-467. doi:10.10 37/ a0023594.

Pleck, J. H. (1977). The work-family role system. Social Problem, 24(4), 417-427. doi: 1 0.2307/800135.

Pleck, J., Staines, G., & Lang, L. (1980). Conflicts between work and family life. Monthl Labor Review, 103(3), 29-32.

Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879-903. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879.

Powell, G. N, & Greenhaus J. H. (2010). Sex, gender, and the work-family interface: exploring negative and positive interdependencies. Academy of Management Journal, 53(3), 513-534. doi: 10.5465/AMJ.2010.51468647.

Richardson, K. M., & Thompson, C. A. (2012). High tech tethers and work-family conflict: A conservation of resources approach. Engineering Management Research, 1(1), 29-43. doi: 10.5539/emr.v1n1p29.

Richter, J. (1992). Balancing work and family in Israel. In S. Zedeck (Ed), work, family and organizations (pp. 362-394). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Shamir, B. (1992). Home: The perfect workplace? In S. Zedeck (Ed), work, family and organizations (pp. 272-311). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Sonnentag, S., & Bayer, U. (2005). Switching off mentally: Predictors and consequences of psychological detachment from work during off-job time. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 10(4), 393-414. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.10.4.393.

Sonnentag, S., Binnewies, C., & Mojza, E. J. (2008). Did you have a nice evening? A day-level study on recovery experiences, sleep, and affect. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(3), 674-684. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.93.3.674.

Sonnentag, S., & Fritz C. (2007). The recovery experience questionnaire: Development and validation of measure for assessing recuperation and unwinding from work. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 12(3), 204-221. doi: 10.1037/10 76-8998.12.3.204.

Sonnentag, S., Kuttler, I., & Fritz, C. (2010). Job stressors, emotional ex-haustion, and need for recovery: A multisource study on the benefits of psychological detachment. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76(3), 355-365. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2009.06.005.

Teo, S. T., Newton, C., & Soewanto, K. (2013). Context-specific stressors, work-related social support and work-family conflict: A mediation study. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 38(1), 14-26.

Treiber, L. A., & Davis, S. N. (2012). The role of ‘workplace family’ support on worker health, exhaustion and pain. Community, Work & Family, 15(1), 1-27. doi: 10.1080/ 13668803.2011.580123.

Williams, K., & Alliger, G. M. (1994). Role stressors, mood spillover, and perceptions of work-family conflict in employed parents. Academy of Management Journal, 37(4), 837-868. doi: 10.2307/256602.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Murcia

Open AccessSello de Calidad FECyT 2013ClarivAnaliticsWJ.jpgScielo-Españadoajscimago