Work-family spillover among Japanese dual-earner couples: A large community-based study

Kyoko Shimada, Akihito Shimazu, Arnold B. Bakker, Evangelia Demerouti, Norito Kawakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To examine the effects of multiple types of work-family spillover (work-to-family negative spillover, WFNS; family-to-work negative spillover, FWNS; and work-family positive spillover, WFPS) on psychological distress among Japanese dual-earner couples with preschool children. Methods: 2,346 parents completed questionnaires measuring work-family spillover, work- and family-specific variables (i.e., job demands and resources, family demands and resources), and psychological distress. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted by entering demographic characteristics (gender, age, age of the youngest child, and job contract) in step 1, job demands and resources in step 2, family demands and resources in step 3, work-family spillover in step 4, and three two-way interactions between types of work-family spillover and gender in the final step. Results: Both WFNS and FWNS were positively related to psychological distress after controlling for demographic characteristics and domain specific variables (i.e. job and family demands/resources), and FWNS (β=0.26) had a stronger relation with psychological distress than WFNS (β=0.16). Although WFPS was significantly and negatively related to psychological distress, the relationship was weak (β=-0.05). In addition, two-way interactions of WFNS and FWNS with gender were found; the impact of both WFNS and FWNS on psychological distress is stronger for females than for males. No significant interaction effect was observed between WFPS and gender. Conclusions: In this study of Japanese dual-earner couples with preschool children, work-family negative spillover had a stronger relationship with psychological distress than positive spillover. Gender had a moderating effect on the relationship between negative spillover and psychological distress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-343
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of occupational health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Community-based study
  • Dual-earner couples
  • Gender
  • Psychological distress
  • Work-family negative spillover
  • Work-family positive spillover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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