Thesis Proposal Review: Investigating the associations between work-family conflict and major depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal ideation

Person working alone


Work Family Conflict (WFC) is a widespread hazard, and around 50% of Australian parents indicate that they often need to abandon some family activities due to work. WFC has been shown to be associated with psychological distress, including depressive and anxiety symptoms. Compared to the extensive body of literature examining WFC in connection with general psychological distress, far less research has examined whether WFC is associated with a confirmed diagnosis of a depressive or anxiety disorder. Moreover, a further possible severe adverse consequence of WFC that has rarely been examined is the relationship between WFC and suicidal ideation. Suicide is a significant public health concern and one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Indeed, some studies have shown that diagnosable mental health problems are correlated with suicidal ideation, but studies investigating the relationship between WFC, mental disorders, and suicidal ideation are rare.

This study uses the Personality and Total Health (PATH) Through Life project data. PATH is the only population-based community cohort data in Australia, which includes measures of work-family conflict and other job characteristics as well as diagnostic information for depression and anxiety disorders as well as a valid measure of suicidal ideation in each cohort. The current research is expected to illustrate that WFC is an independent predictor of significant mental health problems and suicidal ideation.


Tianying WangTianying Wang is a PhD Candidate at National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health in the Australian National University. She holds a Master of Public Health (Advanced) and Master of Culture, Health, and Medicine from the ANU. Tianying has done some research about work-study conflicts and mental health among Australian young people in the postgraduate period. Her doctoral research is exploring the relationship between WFC, suicidal ideation, and diagnosable depression and anxiety in the Australian context.