This research is a descriptive correlational study that is conducted by descriptive method and relational style to assess the relationship between marital commitment and ability to empathy with work-family conflict in the male employees of Dashti county Department of Education. Statistical population included all employed men in Dashti county Department of Education in 2014; the sample was 115 participants, who were selected by simple random sampling. Research tools were consisted of marital commitment questionnaire (Adams and Jones, 1997) and Work – Family Conflict Questionnaire (Carlson et al., 2000) and “Interpersonal Reactivity Index” (Davis, 1983 and 1996). Data analysis was performed by Regression analysis and correlation coefficients. The hypotheses analysis showed that there is no significant correlation between marital commitment and work-family conflict and there is a significant inverse relationship between empathy and work-family conflict, and also the marital commitment and empathy are able to predict work – family conflict.
Empathy is the institutional capacity of people that helps them to regulate support relations of joint activities and group coordination. This ability plays a fundamental role in people’s social life. In fact, empathy is the motivating force of social behaviors and behaviors that lead to group cohesion. Suitable empathy expressing tools involve having social skills. Empathy is one’s alternative emotional response to the emotional reactions of others (Khodabaksh, 2012).
The work-family conflict has two major dimensions of family-work and work-family. The work-family conflict occurs when the demands of work with the energy and commitment reduction, reduces the one’s ability to play the family role, and family-work conflict also occurs when family demands consume these resources in such a way that the employee’s ability to perform job roles will be reduced. It is clear that in any state, interference of conflicting demands of job – family roles makes it difficult to do obligations arising out of them (Malekiha, Baghban and Fatehizadeh, 2009).
Work and family are two systems of every person’s life that each of them shapes the unique aspect of human behavior and each person must make balance between what each of these two aspects requires from his life. Work-family conflict occurs when the demands of one of these two domains (e.g. work) be incompatible with the demands of other domain (e.g. family) that this conflict could affect the quality of family life and the quality of working life. Researchers have described different types of conflict due to the timing and amount of tension behavior (Arizsamani, Dibaji and Sadeghi, 2011).
Several studies have found that that spouses’ marital commitment is an important predictor of a stable and satisfying marriage (Hiyo and Lindzi, 2007). Marital commitment is to an extent that, in which people have a long-term perspective on their marriage, sacrifice to their relationship, take steps to maintaining and strengthening their solidarity and cohesion and they stay with their spouses even when the marriage is not rewarding (Harmon, 2005). people with high marital commitment tend to improve the satisfaction of their working relationship or they are less interested in thinking about alternative opportunities that can weaken their spouses’ safety feeling.
Couples who don not reach the necessary maturity about their commitment and have two sided behavioral will be in trouble to pursue marriage and work with others (McCarthy, 1999). According to material presented, this study is looking for this issue whether there is a significant relationship between marital commitment and ability to empathy with work-family conflict?
Discussion and conclusion
The main hypothesis:
Results of Table 1 shows that between marital commitment and empathy at a significance level of P≤0.01 there is adirect and significant relationship and between empathy and work-family conflict at a significance level of P≤0.05 there is a significant inverse relationship. But there is no significant relationship between marital commitment and work-family conflict. Although no study was about the relationship between these two variables but was contrary with Malekiha’s (2008) study which showed that work-family conflict management training is effective on marital satisfaction.
To illustrate this hypothesis it can be said when people have work-family conflict they have more stress and anxiety and this leads to reducing the balance in the family and increasing pressure of work and family domains roles and finally the ability of empathy will be reduced. In fact we can say when people who have work-family conflict, have distress in the families. That reduces the responsibility of the people and eventually reduced the ability of empathy.
The first hypothesis:
Results of Table (2) on the relationship between the components of marital commitment and conflict dimensions showed that among the components of the marital commitment, commitment to wife component with time-based family-work conflict and behavior-based work-family conflict and family-work conflict and commitment to marriage component with behavior-based family-work conflict and compulsory commitment component and strain-based family-work conflict there is a significant correlation and there was no relationship in the other dimensions that this result is inconsistent with Malekiha’s et al. (2008) study which showed that changing work hours was effective on work- family conflict.
To illustrate this hypothesis it can be said people who are committed to their spouses have low of time-based family-work conflict and behavior-based work-family conflict. In other words, when one has commitment to his or spouse will be more responsible and less stress and tension will be taken place in the family. And the probability of time-based family-work conflict and behavior-based work-family conflict is reduced.
The second hypothesis:
Obtained results from Table 3 “Pearson’s correlation coefficient about the relationship between empathy and conflict dimensions” showed that from empathy components, perspective acceptance component with family-work conflict strain-based and personal sadness component with time-based family-work conflict and behavior-based work-family conflict and behavior-based family-work conflict has a significant and direct relationship and there was no significant relationship in the other dimensions no consistent investigations with these findings were found.
In the case of people who have higher personal sadness, time-based family-work conflict and behavior-based work-family conflict will rise. When people have higher personal sadness, cannot interact with others and also do not have the ability to understand others’ feelings and have lower sense of responsibility. Finally, have more time-based family-work conflict and behavior-based work-family conflict.
The third hypothesis:
As it can be seen in Table 4, the stepwise regression indicates that marital commitment and empathy are able to predict work-family conflict. A study has not been conducted to examine these two variables together. However, Baker and colleagues (2005) showed that work-family conflict has the power to predict job satisfaction.
To explain these findings it can be said the most important thing in the lives of men that the change in it make those people suffering from the mental stress is their job and stressed all the men’s relations of outside the workplace, such as the marital commitment and intimacy.
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