Profiles of attribution for work–family conflict episodes and their relation to negative emotions

Kristen M. Shockley, Allison S. Gabriel, Zhenyu Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Many employees commonly deal with situations where their work and family lives are in conflict. Yet, scholarly understanding of how these episodic experiences influence employees' cognitions (i.e., attributions) and emotions is still limited. Further, the emergent line of work–family research on attributions tends to adopt a variable-centric approach by investigating the effects of attributional dimensions in isolation, thus precluding a holistic view of how individuals form profiles of attributions in response to work–family conflict episodes. To advance the work–family literature, we employed an experience sampling design across 12 days to investigate profiles of attributions and the resultant discrete negative emotions (e.g., guilt, shame, regret, anger, frustration, and resentment) associated with work–family conflict in full-time employees with children. Multilevel latent profile analysis (MLPA) results revealed meaningfully different profiles of attributions that tended to occur in reaction to conflicts between work and family, with these profiles differing based upon direction of the conflict episode (i.e., work-interfering-with-family [WIF] vs. family-interfering-with-work [FIW]). Further, these attributional profiles, especially those associated with FIW episodes, differentially related to distinct negative emotions. Overall, our findings contribute to a nuanced understanding of profiles of attributions following work–family conflict episodes, with critical implications for affective well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-661
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2022


  • attributions
  • emotion
  • experience sampling methodology
  • multilevel latent profile analysis
  • work–family conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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