Reciprocal Relations between Parental Employment Experiences and Child, Mother, and Father Health

Ariel Kalil, University of Chicago
Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, University of Chicago

In this study, we assess physical health-based selection into unemployment and job loss, as well as the effect of these circumstances on physical health, focusing on health changes and changes in employment circumstances over a two-year period. Our study considers the health of fathers, mothers, and children and examines the employment circumstances of fathers and mothers in a nationally representative sample of two-parent married families. Doing so allows us to pose the question of whether, for example, mothers’ (or children’s) health affects fathers’ employment circumstances (and whether the converse is also true) and, further, whether the health consequences of job loss extend beyond the job loser him or herself. Further, we examine a wider array of employment circumstances than has been studied in previous research (including persistent unemployment, voluntary and involuntary job separations, and underemployment), and we also assess differences for low versus high-income families.

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Presented in Session 42: Influences of Health on Socioeconomic Status