Gender and the Work-Family Interface: Exploring Differences Across the Family Life Course


gender, work-family interface, life stage, family life course


This study examines gender differences in the work—family interface across six family life stages using a global sample of IBM employees in 79 countries (N = 41,813). Family life stage was constructed using the age of respondent and age of youngest child. Results revealed that having young children at home was the critical catalyst for gender differences in the work—family interface. The greatest gender differences were found in the central stages of life when children require more temporal and economic resources from their parents. When life stage was not considered, the first and last stages tended to offset each other, concealing major gender differences during the central stages of family life. These findings signify that life stage is an important concept to consider in research related to gender and the work— family interface. Implications to the development of work policies attentive to shifts in work—family linkages during the life course are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Martinengo, G., Erickson, J.J., & Hill, E. J. (2010). Gender and the work-family interface: Exploring differences across the family life course. Journal of Family Issues, 31, 1363-1390. doi: 10.1177/0192513X10361709

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Family Issues




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor