Mothers and fathers at work: Implications for families and children

Ann C. Crouter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Mothers' and fathers' employment is of fundamental importance to families and children in two distinct ways. First, parents' work connects families to the larger social system. Because of their choices of jobs and workplaces, mothers and fathers are exposed to trends in the local, national, and global economy; to economic and social policy in such areas as international trade, parental leave, health insurance coverage, and social welfare; and to technology and technological change, including computerization, high speed communication, and robotics. In a more immediate way, mothers' and fathers' work situations connect them to a work culture that encourages certain values and behaviors and discourages others, to work-based friendships and social networks and, sometimes, to certain child care arrangements. A second way in which parents' employment is important for families and children is that, through the nature of the work that parents do and the workplace in which those work activities take place, parents are exposed to a set of occupational conditions that have implications for how they interact with and socialize their children. Some occupational conditions, such as how much time a parent spends on the job or when those work hours are scheduled, are important because they shape the parent's availability to the child. Others, such as the extent to which the job offers the worker autonomy and self-direction (or encourages conformity) or the extent to which the parent experiences work-related pressures and strains, affect the child in indirect ways; that is, they influence the parent's own development or psychological well-being in ways that have implications for parenting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFamilies Count
Subtitle of host publicationEffects on Child and Adolescent Development
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780511616259
ISBN (Print)0521612292, 9780521847537
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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