Choosing Between Work and Family: Analyzing the Influences of Work, Family, and Personal Life Among College Coaches

Jeffrey A. Graham – University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Allison B. Smith – University of New Mexico
Marien A Dixon – Texas A&M University


Understanding the ways coaches choose to allocate personal resources among their competing work and family demands has important implications for sport managers and employees. This study examined how the influences of work, family, and personal life influenced how college coaches made decisions about family or work when forced to do so. Experimental vignette methodology was utilized to present college coaches (N = 2,265) with scenarios about competing family and work activities, among which participants were asked to choose. Classification and regression tree analysis was utilized to evaluate the responses. Results suggested coaches were most likely to choose work when work pressure was high, family pressure was low, no children were in the home, and the coach worked more than 50 hours per week on average. Participants were most likely to choose family when work pressure was low, young children were present in the home, and they worked less than 50 hours per week on average. The level of work role salience, NCAA division, average hours spent in the family role, and the number of children in the home also were influential factors.