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Distance education students’ satisfaction: Do work and family roles matter?

Waterhouse, P., Samra, R. & Lucassen, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-6958-3468 (2022). Distance education students’ satisfaction: Do work and family roles matter?. Distance Education, 43(1), pp. 56-77. doi: 10.1080/01587919.2021.2020622


The perceived flexibility of distance education, whereby students can juggle their multiple life roles, is often cited as the predominant reason for enrolling in this mode of study. Nonetheless, for distance learners their multiple roles often have a significant impact on their study experience. This study had three objectives: (1) to explore whether the paid worker role or family role predict distance learners’ satisfaction; (2) to examine the relationship between role conflict and role facilitation regarding distance learners’ satisfaction; and (3) to investigate the role of sociodemographic characteristics as potential moderators in this relationship. The analyses drew on data from 318 online distance learners. Students who reported living with children were less likely to report satisfaction with their educational experience, even after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. The experience of role conflict and role facilitation was significantly associated with student satisfaction, although patterns differed according to students’ prior educational attainment.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher Keywords: student satisfaction, distance education, workf, amily, higher education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
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Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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