Short-Term and Long-Term Impact of Parental Job Characteristics on Children's Well-Being

Ye Luo, University of Chicago

Using three waves of the National Survey of Families and Households, this paper examines the short-term and long-term impact of parental job characteristics on children’s well-being. The results show that school-age children had more adjustment problems if either parent experienced job disruptions and dissatisfaction. When a mother worked longer, irregular schedule, but fewer weeks, children also had more adjustment problems. These effects were partially mediated by parental marital quality and parenting behavior. Mother’s irregular work schedule and father’s job disruptions decreased marital happiness and increased marital conflict. Mothers with fewer work hours and more job disruptions and fathers with irregular schedules and more job satisfaction were more involved and supportive. Parents with less satisfying jobs were more likely to use harsh punishments. Children had higher levels of mental well-being in adulthood if, in their childhood, their father worked long hours, had a less irregular schedule, and worked long weeks.

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Presented in Session 131: Non-Standard Work Schedules and Family Time