Family-Work Conflict and Spousal Aggression: A Comparative Analysis Pre- and Peri- COVID-19 Pandemic

Liat Kulik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main goal of the study was to examine the contribution of the family–work conflict to explaining spousal aggression from a comparative perspective: pre-COVID days versus the peri-COVID-19 pandemic period. The dimensions of aggression included spousal undermining and violent tactics for spousal conflict management as reflected in physical and verbal-emotional violence tactics. The family–work conflict construct included two factors: family interferes with work conflict and work interferes with family conflict. The sample was comprised of 747 Israeli Jewish mothers and fathers of children in early and middle childhood (384 in pre-pandemic days and 363 in the peri-pandemic period). Data were collected via an online link and were analyzed using path analysis. The intensity of work interferes with family conflict, the level of spousal undermining and the use of physical violence tactics were higher during the peri-pandemic period than in pre-pandemic days. The general measure of family work conflict was related to spousal undermining in both periods. Spousal undermining mediates the relation between family–work conflict and violent spousal conflict management tactics in both periods. A highly intensive family–work conflict experience in routine times and in times of crisis, such as a pandemic, may comprise a warning sign that may lead to expressions of spousal aggression In light of the findings, practical recommendations are proposed for reducing spousal aggression stemming from processes in the work–family interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-708
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023

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  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • family–work conflict
  • family–work interface
  • physical violence
  • spousal undermining


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