Differential Effects of Workaholism and Work Engagement on the Interference Between Life and Work Domains


  • Giovanni Di Stefano
  • Maria Gaudiino


This study analyzed the differences between workaholism and work engagement in relation to their influence on work–life interference. Workaholism is an addiction to work, characterized by obsessive attitude towards job, whereas work engagement concerns a positive pattern of thoughts and feelings about one’s job; these two constructs thus represent pathological and healthy forms of heavy work investment, respectively. As a consequence, it was expected that workaholism and work engagement would have different effects on perceived interference between work and life domains. We assessed levels of workaholism, work engagement, work-to-life interference, and life-to-work interference in a sample of 212 Italian workers. Results from structural equation modeling showed an inverse symmetry involving patterns and magnitudes of the relations observed: work engagement was more negatively related to life-to-work interference than work-to-life interference, whereas workaholism was more positively related to work-to-life interference than life-to-work interference. Implications about findings of the study are discussed.