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J Couns Psychol. 2014 Jul;61(3):461-72. doi: 10.1037/a0036339.

Work, family, support, and depression: employed mothers in Israel, Korea, and the United States.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Maryland.
  • 2Department of Psychology, Montgomery College.
  • 3Department of Psychology, Ewha Womans University.
  • 4Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education, Tel Aviv University.
  • 5Department of Counseling, Korea Counseling Graduate University.


Our research revealed differences in work-family constructs for employed mothers in 3 countries, Israel (N = 105), Korea (N = 298), and the United States (N = 305). Although levels of work-family conflict were comparable, the Korean women had the lowest levels of work-family enrichment compared with the Israeli and American mothers. Moreover, Korean women reported the most depression and the least support from both spouses and employers. Spousal support mediated the relationship between work-family conflict and depression for employed mothers in Israel, Korea, and the United States. As hypothesized by conservation of resources theory (Hobfoll, 1989, 1998, 2001), threat of resource loss (operationalized as work-family conflict) was related to depression more strongly than was resource gain (i.e., work-family enrichment).

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