Implications of Shift Work for Parent-Adolescent Relationships in Dual-Earner Families

Authors


*Kelly D. Davis is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University, S 113 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802 (kdavis@psu.edu).

Ann C. Crouter is a Professor of Human Development at Pennsylvania State University, 105 White Building, University Park, PA 16802 (ac1@psu.edu).

Susan M. McHale is a Professor of Human Development at Pennsylvania State University, 105 White Building, University Park, PA 16802 (x2u@psu.edu).

Abstract

Abstract: This investigation examined the implications of shift work for parent-adolescent relationship quality—intimacy, conflict, parental knowledge, and involvement—in a sample of 376 dual-earner families. The findings suggested that mothers’ relationships with their adolescents were not negatively impacted by their working nonstandard schedules but fathers’ relationships were. Adolescents with shift working mothers reported more relationship intimacy than adolescents with daytime working mothers. In contrast, fathers with nonstandard shifts knew significantly less about their teens’ daily activities than did fathers with daytime shifts. The combination of fathers having nonstandard schedules and a marriage with high conflict predicted less intimacy with adolescents. Our findings suggest the need for policy that assists nonstandard workers with staying knowledgeable about their adolescents’ daily activities.

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