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Portuguese mothers and fathers share similar levels of work-family guilt according to a newly validated measure

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Transformations in family and work life have led to profound changes in the articulation of both spheres. The massive entry of women into the labor market, the decline of a family model based on the male provider, increasing job demands, and persistent gender inequality are factors that can generate work-family conflict and lead to feelings of guilt. Work-family guilt is a topic still rarely studied, particularly in Portugal. Given the importance of understanding the complexity of the relationships underlying the work-family interface and the lack of instruments in Portuguese to assess the feeling of guilt as it pertains to the work-family interface, our goal was to adapt the Work-Family Guilt Scale (WFGS) to the Portuguese population. Our results confirmed the two-dimensional structure of the scale with good reliability and validity. The WFGS was invariant between genders, with no significant mean differences between men and women. Convergent validity with the variables of work-to-family and family-to-work conflict and discriminant validity between the two dimensions of the WFGS was demonstrated. Use of this scale will allow the identification of feelings of guilt, which pose risks to the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of workers. Guilt feelings should, like conflict, be considered as a psychosocial risk that must be mitigated through policies and practices aimed at promoting a balance between family and working life.



Work-family/family-work guilt Work-family/family-work conflict Gender differences Guilt scale


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