The Work‐Family Interface: Differentiating Balance and Fit


work‐family fit, work‐family balance, work‐family conflict, job satisfaction, marital satisfaction


Work‐family fit has recently emerged in work and family literature, comparable to work‐family balance in that it represents interactions between work and family and yet distinct because it precedes balance and other outcomes. This study explores the relationship between, predictive factors of, and interactive moderating effects of work‐family fit and work‐family balance. Data are from a survey of business graduate school alumni (n = 387). Findings indicate that fit and balance are two separate constructs. Fit is uniquely predicted by work hours, age, family income, and household labor satisfaction. Balance is uniquely predicted by frequency of family activities. Job satisfaction and marital satisfaction predicted both fit and balance. Analyses suggest that fit is based more on the structural aspects of work‐family interactions, whereas balance appears to be based more on the psychological factors. Job satisfaction, marital satisfaction, and frequency of family activities moderated the relationship between fit and balance.

Original Publication Citation

Clarke, M. C., Koch, L. C., & Hill, E. J. (2004). The work-family interface: Differentiating balance and fit. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 33(2), 121-140. doi: 10.1177/1077727X04269610

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Family and Consumer Science Research Journal




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor