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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 343075, 7 pages
Research Article

Examining Behavioural Coping Strategies as Mediators between Work-Family Conflict and Psychological Distress

1Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Ilam University of Medical Science, Ilam 56000, Iran
2Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 56000 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 7 July 2014; Revised 21 December 2014; Accepted 11 January 2015

Academic Editor: Ann M. Mitchell

Copyright © 2015 Sanaz Aazami et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We examined the mediating role of behavioral coping strategies in the association between work-family conflict and psychological distress. In particular, we examined the two directions of work-family conflict, namely, work interference into family and family interference into work. Furthermore, two coping styles in this study were adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies. This cross-sectional study was conducted among 429 Malaysian working women using self-reported data. The results of mediational analysis in the present study showed that adaptive coping strategy does not significantly mediate the effect of work-family conflict on psychological distress. However, maladaptive coping strategies significantly mediate the effect of work-family conflict on psychological distress. These results show that adaptive coping strategies, which aimed to improve the stressful situation, are not effective in managing stressor such as work-family conflict. We found that experiencing interrole conflict steers employees toward frequent use of maladaptive coping strategies which in turn lead to psychological distress. Interventions targeted at improvement of coping skills which are according to individual’s needs and expectation may help working women to balance work and family demands. The important issue is to keep in mind that effective coping strategies are to control the situations not to eliminate work-family conflict.