Individuals of both genders reported higher levels of guilt being contacted at home when they had young children or when they had previously been married. But overall, regardless of children's age or marital status, women reported both more guilt and distress over work intrusions into the home.
"Initially, we thought women were more distressed by frequent work contact because it interfered with their family responsibilities more so than men," study author Paul Glavin, a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, said in a statement. "However, this wasn't the case. We found that women are able to juggle their work and family lives just as well as men, but they feel more guilty as a result of being contacted. This guilt seems to be at the heart of their distress."
Schieman said the study builds upon research in the 1990s that tested similar patterns in a national sample of working women and men.
"It's affirming the way our findings mapped into a much richer, qualitative in-depth study so many years ago," he said. But, he noted, "overall, the levels of guilt and distress tend to be low in the population. People are not running around riddled with guilt."
Noelle Chesley, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, said the findings tap into the idea "that women's experiences of leisure time are very different from men's. Work intruding into home life is having really different consequences for men and women."
"Women and men bring different things to the table in terms of home interactions," Chesley added. "Women's free time is more interrupted. I could see how, if you're feeling constantly interrupted...how all of this together could produce a very different psychological response."
What can be done to mitigate the intrusion of work into home life amidst the barrage of technology that facilitates it? Not mu
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