Parental Nonstandard Work Schedules and Child Behavioral Outcomes
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Nonstandard work schedules, such as the evening and night shift, are prevalent in the United States, with approximately 17.7 percent of the workforce now employed in a nonstandard schedule. The research thus far indicates that these work arrangements negatively influence children’s behavioral development. However, the majority of studies focus on infants and toddlers or on adolescents, with elementary school-age children relatively understudied. Likewise, the role of the father’s work schedule and parental involvement has been neglected. To broaden understanding of the effects of nonstandard schedules on children, and how these effects may depend upon the age of the child and the level of parental involvement, I analyze data from the NLSY79 and its Child Supplement from 1994-2006. My findings show that older children whose mothers work rotating or irregular shifts exhibit more behavior problems, while other types of shift schedules do not harm children’s behavioral outcomes. While differences in parental involvement and closeness do not explain these relationships, parental closeness has an important influence on behavior problems for all parental employment statuses.
- Sociology