Shift Work and the Parent-Child Relationship

Jillian L. Wooton, Ohio State University

For men and women in the United States today, the average workday is no longer the traditional nine-to-five day shift with evenings left free for family and leisure time. Evening, night and rotating shifts have become more and more a part of working life. However, the growth in nonstandard work shifts has not been accompanied with a proportionate increase in the number of studies devoted to the topic--particularly on effects of maternal nonstandard shift work on parent/child relationships. This study illuminates the connection between maternal nonstandard shift work and the quality of the parent/child relationship. Maternal shift work (evening work, in particular) was expected to diminish the quality of the mother/child relationship indirectly through time spent with the child. Results of an OLS regression analysis suggest that a modest, indirect relationship between maternal shift work and relationship quality with children may exist.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Families, Parenting, Adolescents, and Children