Fathers' work experiences, the father-child relationship and children's behaviour


  • Portions of this research were completed while the author was on Sabbatical leave in the Department of Psychology, SUNY at Stony Brook.


The effects of fathers' subjective work experiences on their children's behaviour have been largely neglected, despite increasing recognition accorded to the fathers' role in all aspects of child development. The present study redresses this issue by assessing whether (a) fathers' work experiences are related to children's behaviour, (b) the father-child relationship moderates the effects of fathers' work experiences on children's behaviour, and (c) specific child behaviours are associated with paternal work experiences. One hundred and forty two fathers (M age = 39.55 years) and their eldest child (M age = 9.2 years; 66 boys, 76 girls) participated. Moderated multiple regressions demonstrated that fathers' job satisfaction was related to specific child behaviours, viz. conduct problems and hyperactivity. More importantly, the father-child relationship moderated both these relationships: Where fathers were dissatisfied with their jobs, conduct problems and hyperactivity were significantly greater when the father-child relationship was of a higher quality. Implications for studying the effects of both mothers' and fathers' work experiences on their children's behaviour are drawn.