What happens at home stays at home: the Vegas rule for work depends on working memory. By: Ybarra, Oscar and Chan, Todd. 2024. Community, Work & Family. p1-22.

Family problems, although separate from the work sphere, can impact one’s experience of work even when away from home. We propose that challenges arising from the home and family domain affect individuals’ experience of work because they act as distractions. If so, working memory, an ability relevant to managing distractions, should attenuate the effects that one’s family problems have on experienced job demands. Using a nationally representative dataset (<italic>N = </italic>2591) with both concrete measures of family problems and cognitive performance measures, we show that family problems predict experiencing one’s job as more demanding and stressful. However, increasing working memory ability attenuates this relationship. Results suggest that although family problems impinge on one’s work, increased working memory ability to manage distractions may reduce their consequences. We connect our findings and their implications to relevant theoretical frameworks that inform the linkage between family and work.