The current study examined, via online focus groups, the consequences of work–family conflict at work and at home with 41 mothers who are Division I head coaches. In addition, the authors focused on the coping mechanisms that these women used to achieve success at work and quality of life with family. Results revealed that work–family conflict influenced outcomes with work (e.g., staffing patterns, relationships with athletes, team performance), family (e.g., time spent and relationships with children and spouses or partners), and life (e.g., guilt and exhaustion, balance and perspective, weaving work and family). Coping mechanisms included stress relief, self-awareness, organization and time management, sacrificing aspects of work, support networks, flexibility with hours, and family-friendly policies and cultures. Implications are that the women work to promote change within their circle of influence. Although their efforts might not result in actual policy changes, over which they feel limited control, they might result in changes in perceptions and attitudes.
Bruening is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Dixon is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas, Austin, TX.