Being old fashioned in a modern world: Gender role attitudes moderate the relation between role conflicts and alcohol use of parents Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:Balancing contradictory demands of different social roles such as work and family can lead to role conflicts. However, whether such conflicts lead to detrimental alcohol use may depend on the individual's gender role attitudes (GRA). For example, considering family care taking as a female task, and breadwinning as a male task. This study investigates whether GRA moderates the relation between work-family conflicts (WFC) and alcohol use, namely usual quantity of alcohol consumed on a drinking day and annual frequency of alcohol use. METHODS:Employed parents (163 mothers (mean age = 37.1, SD = 4.5)), 142 fathers (mean age = 40.5, SD = 4.6)) of young children were sampled in preschool classes and nurseries in French-speaking Switzerland. RESULTS:The higher the level of WFC the higher the frequency of alcohol use in men and the higher usual quantity in women. These associations were not found for GRA. However, GRA moderated the relationship between WFC and alcohol use, i.e., increasing alcohol use with increasing WFC was exclusively found among parents with more traditional GRA. CONCLUSION:Among employed parents of preschool children, traditional role distributions may impede flexible responses to varying job and family demands leading to higher alcohol use in both genders, i.e., men increasing their drinking occasions and women the amount per occasion. Promoting higher gender equity in the fulfilment of family demands and allowing greater flexibility in solving conflicts, could possibly help to prevent the detrimental alcohol use arising from work-family constraints and conflicts.

publication date

  • 2019