French et al. (2018)


The relationship between social support and work–family conflict is well-established, but the notion that different forms, sources, and types of social support as well as contextual factors can alter this relationship has been relatively neglected. To address this limitation, the current study provides the most comprehensive and in-depth examination of the relationship between social support and work–family conflict to date. We conduct a meta-analysis based on 1021 effect sizes and 46 countries to dissect the social support and work–family conflict relationship. Using social support theory as a theoretical framework, we challenge the assumption that social support measures are interchangeable by comparing work/family support relationships with work–family conflict across different support forms (behavior, perceptions), sources (e.g., supervisor, coworker, spouse), types (instrumental, emotional), and national contexts (cultural values, economic factors). National context hypotheses use a strong inferences paradigm in which utility and value congruence theoretical perspectives are pitted against one another. Significant results concerning support source are in line with social support theory, indicating that broad sources of support are more strongly related to work–family conflict than are specific sources of support. In line with utility perspective from social support theory, culture and economic national context significantly moderate some of the relationships between work/family support and work interference with family, indicating that social support is most beneficial in contexts in which it is needed or perceived as useful. The results suggest that organizational support may be the most important source of support overall.


Matthew B. Jané