How do people with different attachment styles balance work and family? A personality perspective on work-family linkage

Sumer H., Knight P.

JOURNAL OF APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY, vol.86, no.4, pp.653-663, 2001 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 86 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Doi Number: 10.1037//0021-9010.86.4.653
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.653-663
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study explored whether different models of work-family relationship were possible for individuals with different attachment styles. A mail survey was conducted using employees (N = 481) at a midwestern university in the United States. Results suggested that (a) individuals with a preoccupied attachment pattern were more likely to experience negative spillover from the family/home to the work domain than those with a secure or dismissing style, (b) securely attached individuals experienced positive spillover in both work and family domains more than those in the other groups. and (c) preoccupied individuals were much less likely to use a segmentation strategy than the other 3 attachment groups. However, when the conventional job satisfaction-life satisfaction relationship was examined. the data provided unique support for the spillover model, Implications of the findings for both attachment and work-family relationship literatures are discussed.