Multi-National Work-Family Research Project
(Project 3535)

Focus Groups

The first phase of the multi-national work-family project (Project 3535) involved conducting focus groups in nine of the countries (except China) and the Ukraine. The researchers guided the discussions using questions such as: "How do you handle work and family responsibilities and conflict?", "What are the key reasons and outcomes for work intereference with family and for family interference with work?", and "How do you cope with these (e.g., the support mechanisms)?" . The focus groups included employeed women as participants in all countries except Canada and the United States, where both men and women were included.

The results from the focus groups have been reported from several countries. Preliminary findings from these studies have revealed that participants in all countries found combining work and family to be challenging. However, work was more likley to interfere with family life than family was to interfere with work (Aycan, 2005). Most conflict reported was between the worker and parent roles (Aycan, 2005). There were Many demands on women. Being a proper mother was deemed very important in all societies (Aycan, 2005). Negative and positive spillover; W-F guilt; coping and social support were reported in all countries. But, there were different issues in different cultures.