Longitudinal associations between maternal work stress, negative work-family spillover, and depressive symptoms

W. Benjamin Goodman, Ann C. Crouter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


The current study examined associations over an 18-month period between maternal work stressors, negative work-family spillover, and depressive symptoms in a sample of 414 employed mothers with young children living in six predominantly nonmetropolitan counties in the Eastern United States. Results from a one-group mediation model showed that a less flexible work environment and greater work pressure predicted higher levels of depressive symptoms and, further, that these associations were mediated by perceptions of negative work-family spillover. Additionally, results from a two-group mediation model suggested that work pressure predicted greater perceptions of spillover only for mothers employed full-time. Findings suggest the need for policies that reduce levels of work stress and help mothers manage their work and family responsibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-258
Number of pages14
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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