Making Ends Meet


work–family conflict, gender, work, family


The “New Economy” features 24/7 employment, varied work schedules, job insecurity, and lower benefits and wages, which lead to disparities in experiences of security and sufficiency. This study investigates sufficiency concerns in the New Economy; who is having trouble making ends meet? Sufficiency concerns are subjective perceptions that work is insufficient to meet basic needs and that family and work cannot be coordinated in a stable way. This study uses the 2006 National Survey of Religion and Family Life (N = 1,621) to analyze Americans’ experiences in the New Economy and how these experiences are related to work–family conflict. Sufficiency concerns were experienced by a quarter to a third of our respondents and were shaped by gender and structural inequality, especially race and education. Moreover, sufficiency concerns strongly predict work–family conflict, even when other controls are included. This research furthers our understanding of work–family conflict and the winners and losers in the New Economy.

Original Publication Citation

Edgell, Penny, Samantha Ammons, and Eric C. Dahlin. 2012. “Making Ends Meet: Insufficiency and Work–Family Coordination in the New Economy.” Journal of Family Issues 33:999- 1026.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Family Issues




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor