ELLEN GALINSKY is the Co-Founder and Co-President of the Families and Work Institute. She received her B.A. from Vassar College and her M.S. from Bank Street College, where she also received an honorary doctorate degree. At the Families and Work Institute, she co-directs the National Study of the Changing Workforce and directs several other studies to examine the impact of state, community and business efforts to improve child care and education. Prior to her work at the Families and Work Institute, Ms. Galinsky was on the faculty of Bank Street College of Education. She is Past-President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and has served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, and to many states on early education and care initiatives and on work and family issues. She is the author of numerous books, articles, and reports on issues of child development and work-family programs.
The Role of Employers in Addressing the Needs of Employed Parents
Article first published online: 14 APR 2010
1996 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Journal of Social Issues
Volume 52, Issue 3, pages 111–136, Fall 1996
How to Cite
Galinsky, E., Bond, J. T. and Friedman, D. E. (1996), The Role of Employers in Addressing the Needs of Employed Parents. Journal of Social Issues, 52: 111–136. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1996.tb01582.x
- Issue published online: 14 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 14 APR 2010
This paper examines life on and off the job for a nationally representative sample of 2958 wage and salaried workers, comparing the situations of parent and nonparent employees within the sample. Although parent and nonparent employees were found to be quite similar in most respects, some notable differences were revealed—in the value they place on different benefits and workplace policies; in the extent of the sacrifices they have made in their family/personal lives for the sake of their jobs or careers, and vice versa; and in the time they have available off the job for themselves and with their spouses after completing household chores and fulfilling child care responsibilities. In addition, parent employees exhibited significantly poorer quality of life outcomes than nonparents—higher levels of conflict between work and family I personal life, more stress, and less effective coping. Analyses designed to identify the workplace conditions under which employed parents fared better found that parents had better outcomes (less conflict, less stress, and better coping) when they had jobs with greater autonomy, more schedule control, fewer demands, and greater security. Parents also fared better when they had more supportive workplaces—more supportive supervisors, more supportive workplace cultures, and opportunities for job advancement that were not inhibited by gender or race. In contrast, access to policies, programs, and fringe benefits specifically intended to be family friendly—flexible time and leave policies and dependent care assistance—was not associated with lower levels of work-family conflict, and only slightly predictive of lower stress and better coping.