On the Way to Life-domains Balance: Success Factors and Obstacles

Main Article Content

Harald Lothaller


During the ‘rush hour of life’, people face various challenges from different life domains simultaneously: they have to fulfill a number of different obligations at their workplace, at home, and elsewhere  of life (e.g., getting a job and starting a career, establishing a family, moving towards getting their own home, but also meeting people, part taking in leisure activities, etc.). The article examines the factors that have positive and negative effects on the transition from one life domain towards another. In addition, by focusing on the situation of dual-earner couples with young children it briefly illustrates why life-domains balance is significantly linked to the ‘rush hour of life’.

Article Details

Author Biography

Harald Lothaller, University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz

Harald Lothaller is a social psychologist from Graz (Austria). Currently, he is responsible for statistics, data analyses, and reporting at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz. In addition, he is a lecturer at the Department of Psychology of the University of Graz and at the Department of Health Science at the University of Applied Sciences, Joanneum, Graz.


Bailyn, Lotte (1977): Accommodation of work to family: An analysis of couples with two careers (Working paper 905-77). Boston: MIT, Sloan School of Management.

Baldock, John / Hadlow, Jan (2004): Managing the family: Productivity, scheduling and the male veto. In: Social Policy & Administration. Vol. 38 (6/2004)), 706-720.

Barkholdt, Corinna (2005): Ein Leben lang…Älter werdende Belegschaften und biographieorientierte Aspekte der Arbeitszeitgestaltung. http://www.boeckler.de/pdf/v_2005_09_05_barkholdt_text.doc . Viewed 14 May 2000.

Baxter, Janeen (2002): Changes in the gender division of household labour in Australia, 1986-1997. In: Tony Eardley / Bruce Bradbury (eds.): Competing Visions: Refereed Proceedings of the National Social Policy Conference 2001 (SPRC Report 1/02, p. 64 - 74), Sydney: University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.

Bedeian, Arthur G./ Burke, Beverly G./ Moffett, Richard G. (1988): Outcomes of work - family conflict among married male and female professionals. In: Journal of Management. Vol. 14 (3/1988), 475-491.

Bittman, Michael / Wajcman, Judy (2000): The rush hour: the character of leisure time and gender equity. In: Social Forces. Vol. 79 (1/2000), 165-190.

Byron, Kristin (2005): A meta-analytic review of work-family conflict and its antecedents. In: Journal of Vocational Behavior. No. 67, 169-198.

De Jong, Andries / Broekman, Rob (2003): National and regional trends in the labour force in the European Union 1985 - 2050 (Working papers and studies, Theme 3). Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Eby, Lillian T. / Casper, Wendy J./ Lockwood, Angie / Bordeaux, Chris / Brinley, Andi (2005): Work and family research in IO/OB: Content analysis and review of the literature (1980–2002). In: Journal of Vocational Behavior. No. 66, 124-197.

Fine-Davis, Margret (n.d.): Fathers and mothers: Dilemmas of the work-life balance. A comparative study of 4 European countries. http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Fathers&Mothers.pdf/Files/Fathers&Mothers.pdf. Viewed 14 November 2008.

Frone, Michael R. (2003): Work-family balance. In: James C. Quick/ Lois E. Tetrick (eds.): Handbook of occupational health psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Frone, Michael R. / Yardley, John K./ Markel, Karen S. (1997): Developing and testing an integrative model of the work - family interface. In: Journal of Vocational Behaviour. No. 50, 145-167.

Greenhaus, Jeffrey H. / Beutell, Nicholas J. (1985): Sources of conflict between work and family roles. In: Academy of Management Review. No. 10, 76-88.

Grzywacz, Joseph G. / Butler, Adam B. (2005): The impact of job characteristics on work - to - family facilitation: Testing a theory and distinguishing a construct. In Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Vol. 10 (2/2005), 97-109.

Grzywacz, Joseph G. / Marks, Nadine F. (1999): Reconceptualizing the work - family interface: An ecological perspective on the correlates of positive and negative spillover between work and family (CDE Working Paper No. 99-03). Madison: University of Wisconsin – Madison, Center for Demography and Economy.

Hammer, Leslie B. / Allen, Elizabeth / Grigsby, Tenora D. (1997): Work - family conflict in dual - earner couples: Within-individual and crossover effects of work and family. Journal of Vocational Behaviour. No. 50, 185-203.

Kinnunen, Ulla / Mauno, Saija (1998): Antecedents and outcomes of work - family conflict among employed women and men in Finland. In: Human Relations. Vol. 51 (2/1998), 157-177.

Lothaller, Harald (2008): Die „rush hour“ des Lebens und die Bedeutung der Familienarbeit und ihrer Aufteilung. In: Journal für Generationengerechtigkeit. Vol. 8 (3/2008), 4-8.

Market (2005): Angst vor Jobverlust steht Kinderwunsch im Wege (news Februar 05/04). Linz: market – Marktforschung. http://www.market.at/upload/documentbox/News_0504.pdf . Viewed 2 November 2008.

Poelmans, Steven (2001): Individual and organizational issues in work - family conflict (Research paper No 444). Barcelona: University of Navarra, Research Division IESE.

Russell, Graeme / Bowman, Lyndy (2000): Work and family: Current thinking, research and practice. Canberra: Commonwealth Government, Department of Family and Community Services.

Schipfer, Rudolf K. (2003): Familien in Zahlen. Informationen zu Familien in Österreich und der EU auf einen Blick. Vienna: Österreichisches Institut für Familienforschung [Austrian Institute for Family Studies].

Schipfer, Rudolf K. (2005): Familien in Zahlen. Statistische Informationen zu Familien in Österreich und der EU. Vienna: Österreichisches Institut für Familienforschung [Austrian Institute for Family Studies].

Statistik Austria (2008): Bildung in Zahlen 2006/2007: Schlüsselindikatoren und Analysen. Vienna: Statistik Austria [Statistics Austria].

Voydanoff, Patricia (1988): Work role characteristics, family structure demands, and work/family conflict. In: Journal of Marriage and the Family. Vol. 50 (3/1988), 749-761.

Voydanoff, Patricia (2004): The effects of work demands and resources on work - to - family conflict and facilitation. In: Journal of Marriage and Family. Vol. 66 (2/2004), 398-412.

Wierda-Boer, Hilde / Gerris, Jan / Vermulst, Ad (2008): Adaptive strategies, gender ideology, and work - family balance among Dutch dual earners. In: Journal of Marriage and Family. Vol 70 (4/2008), 104-1014.