California Center for Population Research
Work-Family Conflict and Retirement Preferences
- Author(s): Raymo, James M.
- Sweeney, Megan M
- et al.
Objectives: This study investigates relationships between perceived levels of work-family
conflict and retirement preferences.
Methods: Using the large sample of 52-54 year-old respondents to the 1992 Wisconsin
Longitudinal Study, we estimate multinomial logistic regression models of preferences for partial
and full retirement within the next ten years. We examine the association between preferences
for retirement and perceived work-family conflict, evaluate the extent to which work-family
conflict is a mediating mechanism between stressful work and family circumstances and
preferences for retirement, and explore potential gender differences in the association between
work-family conflict and retirement preferences.
Results: Work-family conflict is positively related to preferences for both full and partial
retirement. Yet work-family conflict does not appear to mediate relationships between stressful
work and family environments and retirement preferences, nor do significant gender differences
emerge in this association.
Discussion: Our analyses provide the first direct evidence of the role played by work-family
conflict in the early stages of the retirement process, although we are not able to identify the
sources of conflict underlying this relationship. Identifying the sources of this conflict and the
psychological mechanisms linking work-family conflict to retirement preferences is an important
task for subsequent research.