Who Benefits More from a Balanced life? Gender Differences in Work-life Balance and Satisfaction with Life in Eight Post-communist Countries
The purpose of the research described in this paper is to investigate the gender differences in the relationship between perceived tension with work-life balance and satisfaction with life in eight post-communist regions (the Czech Republic, East Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine). The research investigates 1) how having a balanced life contributes to the subjective well-being of individuals (measured according to level of satisfaction with life), and 2) the variability which exists on a country level with satisfaction with life and satisfaction with work-life balance, and the relationship between these two attitudes. Data from the fifth round of the European Social Survey is used in the analysis, to which only respondents active in the labor force were included (N=6410). The paper presents descriptive statistics about country differences in the level of satisfaction with life and work-life balance. Following this, OLS regression models are used to predict satisfaction with life. Results reveal that the perceived balance between work and other elements of life has a significant impact on satisfaction with life, and no gender difference is detectable in this regard. Nevertheless, more highly educated individuals have greater subjective well-being, and the impact is stronger for women than men. Between-country differences are also moderate.
Abendroth, A.K. and L. den Dulk (2011) Support for the work-life balance in Europe: the impact of state, workplace and family support on work-life balance
satisfaction. Work, Employment & Society, 25 (2): 234-256. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0950017011398892
Auth, D. (2010) Welfare states and gender in Central and Eastern Europe: the current state of research and prospective research. In Christina, N. and S.Leiber
(eds.): Welfare states and gender inequality in Central and Eastern Europe: Continuity and post-socialist transformation in the EU Member States, Brussels:
Bălţătescu, S. (2004) Life Satisfaction of the new EU Members: Recent Trends and Future Prospects. European Union Enlargement of 2004 and Beyond:
Responding to the Political, Legal and Socio-Economic Challenges.
Carlson, D.S. , J.G. Grzywacz and S. Zivnuska (2007) Is work–family balance more than conflict and enrichment? Human Relations, 62 (10): 14-59. doi:
Clark, S.C. (2000) Work/family border theory: a new theory of work/family balance. Human Relations, 2000 (53): 747–770.
Den Dulk, Laura, Margareta Bäck-Wiklund, Suzan Lewis, and Dorottya Redai (2011),“Quality of life and work in a changing Europe: a theoretical framework”, In
Bäck-Wiklund, M. et al. (eds.), Quality of Life and Work in Europe. Theory, Practice & Policy, London, Palgrave Macmillan 17-31. doi:
Edwards, P. and J. Wajcman (2005) The politics of working life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fodor, E. (2005) Women at Work The Status of Women in the Labour Markets of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. United Nations Research
Institute for Social Development. Occasional Paper, No. 3.
http://www.unrisd.org/80256B3C005BCCF9/(httpPublications)/655D60DC55B78527C125701 1003866BA?OpenDocument Accessed: 05-06-2016
Guest, D. E. (2002) Perspectives on the study of work-life balance. Social Science Information, 41 (2): 255-279.
Greenhaus, J. H., K.M. Collins and J.D. Shawc (2003) The relation between work–family balance and quality of life. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63 (3):
10-31. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S00018791(02)00042-8
Grzywacz J.G., Carlson D.S. (2007) Conceptualizing work-family balance: implications for practice and research. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 9
(4): 455-471. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1523422307305487
Helliwell, J., Layard, R., and Sachs, J. (2015) World Happiness Report 2015. New York: The Earth Institute Columbia University.
Hill, E., Hawkins, A., Ferris, M., & Weitzman, M. (2001) Finding an Extra Day a Week: The Positive Influence of Perceived Job Flexibility on Work and Family Life
Balance. Family Relations, 50 (1), 49-58.
Jacobs J. and K. Gerson (2004) The Time Divide: Work, Family, and Gender Inequality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Křížková, A., B. Nagy and A. Mrčela Kanjuo (2010) The gender implications of labour market policy during the transformation and EU accession. A
comparison of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia. In Klenner, Ch., S. Leiber (eds.). Welfare states and gender equality in Central and Eastern Europe.
Brusel [sic]: ETUI. 329-361.
Lippe, van der T. and É. Fodor (1988) Changes in Gender Inequality in Six Eastern European Countries. Acta Sociologica, 41 (2): 131-149. doi:
Lippe, van der T., Jager, A. and Y. Kops (2006) Combination Pressure: The Paid Work: Family Balance of Men and Women in European Countries. Acta
Sociologica, 49 (3): 303-319. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0001699306067711
Marks, S.R. and S.M., MacDermid (1996) Multiple Roles and the Self: A Theory of Role Balance. Journal of Marriage and Family. 58 (2): 417–432.
Mercy, J. L. et al. (eds.) (2015) Quality of life – facts and views. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2785/59737
Miheli, K. K. (2014) Work-family interface, job satisfaction and turnover intention. Baltic Journal of Management, 9 (4): 446 – 466.
Pollert, A. (2005): Gender, Transformation and Employment in Central Eastern Europe. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 11 (2): 213-230. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959680105053964
Rantanen, J., Kinnunen, U., Mauno, S., & Tillemann, K. (2011) Introducing theoretical approaches to work-life balance and testing a new typology among
professionals. In S. Kaiser, M. J. Ringlstetter, D. R. Eikhof, and M. Pina e Cunha (eds.), Creating balance?! International perspectives on the work-life
integration of professionals. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.
Robinson, J., and G. Godbey (1997) Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time. University Park: Penn State University Press.
Sági, M. (2011) Determinants of Satisfaction with Living Standards in Transition Societies, International Journal of Sociology, 41 (4): 55-78. doi:
Selezneva, E. (2011) Surveying transitional experience and subjective well-being: income, work, family. Economic Systems, 35 (2): 139-57. doi:
Szücs, S., Drobnič, S., den Dulk,L. and Roland Verwiebe (2011) Quality of Life and Satisfaction with Work Life Balance. In Back Wiklund, M., van der Linppe,
T., den Dulk, L. and A. van Doorne Huiskes (eds.): Quality of Work and Life. Theory, Practice and Policy. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. 95-117.
Trefalt, S., Drnovsˇek, S., Svetina-Nabergoj, A. and R. V. Adlesˇicˇ (2013) Work-life experiences in rapidly changing national contexts: Structural
misalignment, comparisons and choice overload as explanatory mechanisms. European Management Journal, 31 (5): 448–463.
Zagórski, K. (2011) Living Conditions and Satisfactions. International Journal of Sociology, 41(4): 17-32. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2753/IJS0020-7659410401
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work three months after publication simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. This acknowledgement is not automatic, it should be asked from the editors and can usually be obtained one year after its first publication in the journal.