Moving from “balancing” to “blending”: The role of identity integration for working parents

Claudia Manzi, Silvia Donato*, Francesca Lagomarsino, Maria G. Pacilli, Stefano Pagliaro, Nadia Rania

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Successful identity integration processes are fundamental for the well-being of working parents during stressful circumstances. In two studies we analyzed the associations between Parent–Work Identity Integration (PWII), workload, care-load, and parents’ work problems in a sample of individual working parents in Italy (N = 326 individuals; Study 1), and those between work–life conflict, task-sharing between partners, PWII, and parents’ intention to leave their job and mental health in a sample of mixed-sex working couples with school-aged children (N = 97 couples, Study 2). Finally, we examined gender differences in all the above associations. Study 1 results showed that parents dissatisfied with care-load distribution within the couple and those with higher workload also reported more problems at work, and these effects were fully mediated by PWII. Moreover, Study 2 showed that care-load distribution is only associated with women’s PWII and, indirectly, their well-being and their intention to leave their job. Moreover, parents’ lower work-life conflict was associated with higher PWII and, in turn, to better mental health and lower intention to leave their job. The effects of work-life conflict were also found to cross-over onto the partner’s well-being. Promoting working parents’ ability to harmoniously blend their work and parental identities, in addition to balance conflicting demands between work and life, appears crucial for intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-224
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume41
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Care-load
  • division of household labor
  • parent-work identity integration
  • work retention
  • work-life conflict
  • workload

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