Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Pitney, William A., 1965-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)


Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Educational leadership||Elementary school teachers--Psychology||Work and family--Psychological aspects


Researchers have examined and generated literature on the interrole relationship between work and family domains. The overwhelming focus has been on work-family conflict (WFC). Literature suggests that occupation-specific studies are the next area for WFC research. Even though there is research regarding WFC, there is a need to examine this phenomenon within unstudied professions because the current models do not account for occupation-specific situations. This dissertation reports about the WFC experienced by elementary teachers. Its purpose was twofold: a) to examine the perceived levels of work-family conflict, and b) to explore the perceptions of work-family conflict among elementary teachers. This mixed-methods examination consisted of two phases. In Phase 1, elementary teachers (N = 176) were surveyed using an instrument developed by Netemeyer, Boles, & McMurrian. I selected participants with the highest and lowest levels of WFC to participate in Phase 2 (N = 13). Those participants completed a semi-structured interview and six e-mail journals. The participants in Phase 1 of this study did not show a statistical difference based on gender, tenure, or marital status. In addition, age did not correlate to higher levels of WFC among participants. Phase 2 participants identified working at home, schedule inflexibility, lack of pay, and parent expectations as antecedents that increased their levels of individual WFC. Also, the participants revealed they maintained balance between their personal and professional lives by utilizing social-support systems and coping strategies. Furthermore, elementary teachers described WFC influencing their teaching roles as mostly a result of perceived instructional interference due to role overload. These findings highlight several recommendations for future research and detail what teachers, administrators, and school boards can do to improve the WFC that elementary teachers perceive.


Advisors: William Pitney.||Committee members: Mary Beth Henning; Elizabeth Wilkins.


172 pages




Northern Illinois University

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