From Work-Family Balance to Work-Family Interaction: Changing the Metaphor

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Diane F. Halpern, Susan Elaine Murphy
Routledge, Jun 17, 2013 - Psychology - 304 pages
There are many lessons to be learned about work-family interaction. It is clear that some people have learned how to combine work and family in ways that are mutually supporting--at least much of the time--and some employers have created work environments and policies that make positive interdependence of these two spheres more likely to occur. This book discusses measures of work-family, conflict, policies designed to reduce conflict, comparisons with other industrialized nations, and reasons why family-friendly work-policies have not been adopted with enthusiasm. The purpose is to consider a broad range of topics that pertain to work and family with the goal of helping employers and working families understand the work-life options that are available so they can make choices that offer returns-on-investments to employers, families, and society at large that are consistent with personal and societal values.

This book brings together a superb panel of experts from different disciplines to look at work and family issues and the way they interact. Part I is an overview--with a brief discussion by a psychologist, economist, and a political scientist--each of whom provide their own interpretation of how their discipline views this hybrid field. Part II considers the business case of the question of why employers should invest in family-friendly work policies, followed by a section on the employer response to work family interactions. Families are the focus of the Part IV, followed by a look at children--many of whom are at the heart of work and family interaction.

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How We Study WorkFamily Interactions
Does the Market Reward Firms That Respect
What Happens When Your
Work and Family Issues
GoodBad for Her andor Him?
Closing the
A Dialogue on the Societal Value of Care
Vision for the Future of Work and Family Interaction
Author Index
Subject Index

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About the author (2013)

Rosalind Chait Barnett is a senior scientist at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University and Director of its Community, Families & Work Program. Alone and with others, she has published more than 90 articles, 20 chapters and six books. She Works/He Works: How Two-Income Families Are Happy, Healthy and Thriving was published in paperback in 1998 by Harvard University Press. She is the recipient of several national awards, including the American Personnel and Guidance Association’s Annual Award for Outstanding Research, the Radcliffe College Graduate Society’s Distinguished Achievement Medal and Harvard University, Kennedy School of
Government’s 1999 Goldsmith Research Award. A 1997 journal article coauthored with Robert Brennan received the “Best paper award for 1997” from the Journal of Organizational Behavior. She is currently working on a new book with Caryl Rivers entitled The Seduction of Difference.

David Bruce Bell is a senior research psychologist at headquarters of the U.S. Army Research Institute (ARI) in Alexandria, Virginia. Dr. Bell holds a BA and MA in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. He has been studying Army families since 1985. He was the contract monitor for a 6-year, $10-million, worldwide research project that linked family factors to soldier readiness and retention. He has also studied the ability of both Active and Reserve families to cope with the stresses of deployment during the Gulf War, Somalia, Bosnia, peacekeeping in the Sinai, and other military deployments. Dr. Bell’s family research is recorded in several widely used book chapters, reports, invited addresses, and Army manuals.

Nigel Boyle is Associate Professor of Political Studies at Pitzer College and Acting Director of the European Union Center of California. His research interests focus on the welfare state and labor market policy in Europe. Recent publications include articles entitled “Varieties of neo-liberalism in the domestic response to global turbulence: Youth labor market policy under Thatcher and Blair” and “Feeding the Celtic Tiger: FAS and the transformation of the Irish labor market 1987–2001” (both to be published in 2005 in edited volumes). He has benefited from paid, semester-long parental leaves while at Pitzer.

Wayne F. Cascio received his PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Rochester. Currently he is professor of management and international business at the University of Colorado at Denver. In 1988 he received the Distinguished Faculty award from the HR Division of
the Academy of Management, in 1994 he received the Bemis award for excellence in HRM from the International Personnel Management Association’s Assessment Council, and in 1999 he received the Distinguished Career award from the HR Division of the Academy of Management. Dr. Cascio is past chair of the HR Division of the Academy of Management and past president of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He has authored numerous texts, has published more than 80 journal articles
and 30 book chapters, and has consulted with more than 150 organizations on six continents. Currently he serves on the Boards of Directors of CPP, Inc. and the Society for Human Resource Management Foundation.

Stephan Desrochers is an applied social psychologist with interests in managerial science and family science. Within these fields of study, he is interested in the attitudes, roles, self-identities, and interpersonal relationships relating to work, family, gender, and other domains of people’s lives. He received his PhD in Interdisciplinary Social Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maine, Farmington.

Robert Drago is a professor of labor studies and women’s studies at Pennsylvania State University. Before moving to Pennsylvania, Dr. Drago was a professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has been a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar. Bob also moderates the work/family newsgroup on the Internet ( The newsgroup is an excellent resource for information including summaries of recent research, conference announcements, legislation, and books and articles summarized by Dr. Drago. As of January 2002, the list had 700 members. Dr. Drago’s recent research includes a study of teachers and their time for work and family, and a study of faculty and family issues, both funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He is the 2001 recipient of the R. I. Downing Fellowship from the University of Melbourne (Australia), serves on the Boards of the Alliance of Work/Life Professionals and of the College and University Work/Family Association, is an advisory council member for the “Top 100” list compiled annually by Working Mother magazine, and is a proud soccer dad.

Ellen Galinsky is President and Co-founder of the Families and Work Institute (FWI), a Manhattan-based nonprofit organization, which conducts research on the changing family, workplace, and community. Prior to cofounding the FWI in 1989, Galinsky served on the research faculty of the Bank Street College of Education. Galinsky earned a BA degree from Vassar College and a MS from Bank Street College. She authored the groundbreaking book, Ask the Children: The Breakthrough Study That Reveals How to Succeed at Work and Parenting, which was selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best work–life books of 1999. In 2002, Galinsky co-authored FWI’s major new Ask the Children study: Youth and Violence: Students Speak Out for a More Civil Society. Galinsky has co-authored The National Study of the Changing Workforce, a nationally representative study of the U.S. workforce, updated every 5 years. For more information about FWI, visit

Adele Eskeles Gottfried is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at California State University, Northridge. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, recipient of the MENSA Award for Excellence in Research, and was Invited Speaker for the Esther Katz Rosen Annual Lecture at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association. She has been engaged in longitudinal research on maternal employment and children’s development over a long-term period, and is the author and co-editor of numerous books, chapters, and articles including Maternal Employment and Children’s Development, Redefining Families: Implications for Children’s Development, and Maternal and Dual-Earner Employment Status and Parenting in the 1st and 2nd editions of the Handbook of Parenting. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals. Her research on maternal employment and children’s development has been cited as a foundation for a key ruling in parental custody by the California State Supreme Court.

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