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Work-family conflict (WFC) arises when an individual’s work and family demands become incompatible, making participation in both difficult, and it has been linked to a variety of negative consequences such as increased job stress and decreased organizational commitment and job performance. The amount of WFC individuals expect before entering the workforce, called anticipated work-family conflict (AWFC), is important because it may influence their career and life choices. While researchers have found conflicting results regarding the effect of gender on anticipated work-family conflict, little to no research has been done to study the effect that feminization across occupations – the extent to which each occupation is typically dominated by female employees – has on anticipated work-family conflict levels. This study investigates the effect of feminization across occupations on AWFC levels for students at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Although I did not find that the level of feminization of occupation had a significant effect on AWFC, I did find that self-efficacy was a strong predictor of both time-based and strain-based AWFC. In addition, not having a father present during late childhood and adolescence was also a predictor of strain-based AWFC. Having a better understanding of what students’ expectations for work-family conflict are when they first begin their career path could help managers develop more effective policies that allow employees to have the best work-life balance possible within their careers.
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