The Role of Economics in Work-Family Research
Conflicts between work and family occur when three conditions hold. First, a family has dependent care responsibilities. Second, all able-bodied adults in the family are employed during hours of the day or week such that there is a gap in family coverage of dependent care because employers do not provide sufficient time and f1exibility for employees to meet family commitments. And, third, governmental supports for dependent care are insufficient to fill the gap. In other words, work-family conflict emerges when there is a care gap to be filled and the caregiver is not fully accommodated by his or her employer or government. Typically, "caregiving" and "family" refer to care for dependent children, but the definition is intended to be broader, extending to time caring for elderly parents, other relatives, and spouses and partners. AIthough conflicts mayaIso arise between work and nonfamily commitments, such as religious, community, athletic or various avocations. these are ignored in what follows for brevity.