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Relieving the Time Squeeze? Effects of a White-Collar Workplace Change on Parents

Authors


Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, 717 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (hill0896@umn.edu).

Abstract

Employed parents perceive a time squeeze even as trends from the 1960s show they are spending more time with their children. Work conditions (e.g., hours and schedule control) would seem to affect both parents' time with children and perceived time squeeze, but most studies rely on cross-sectional data that do not establish causality. The authors examined the effects of the introduction of a workplace flexibility initiative (Results Only Work Environment [ROWE]) on changes in mothers' and fathers' perceptions of the adequacy of their time with children and actual time spent with children (N = 225). Baseline data show the importance of work conditions for parents' sense of perceived time adequacy. Panel data show that mothers (but not fathers) in ROWE report increased schedule control and improved time adequacy, but no change in actual time spent with children, except that ROWE increases evening meals with children for mothers sharing few meals at baseline.

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