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J Appl Psychol. 2007 Jan;92(1):28-43.

A review of research methods in IO/OB work-family research.

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  • 1Department of Management, College of Business Administration, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019-0467, USA. wjcasper@uta.edu


A methodological review was conducted of work-family (WF) research published in industrial-organizational psychology and organizational behavior journals over a period of 24 years (1980-2003). Content analysis was conducted on 225 individual studies published in 210 articles to categorize methodological features, including the research design, sources of data used, data analysis techniques, reliability and validity of measures used, and sociodemographic characteristics of the samples. Results support many of the criticisms of WF research and suggest that scholars publishing WF research in industrial-organizational psychology and organizational behavior journals could make greater use of longitudinal and experimental research designs, gather more multisource data, and move beyond the individual level of analysis. Adopting more diverse conceptualizations of family, including a greater proportion of racial and ethnic minorities, and studying workers in occupations other than managerial or professional positions also appear warranted. Finally, methodological trends varied across specific WF content areas, which suggests that distinct methodologies might be useful to advance knowledge of specific WF topics.

2007 APA, all rights reserved

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