The Role of Context in Work Family Challenges and the Implications for Children’s Development

The Role of Context in Work Family Challenges and the Implications for Children’s Development

Achieving a balance between work and family is an issue for family and child well‑being. Some families may be disproportionately affected by work‑family challenges, and this may exacerbate disadvantage for vulnerable children. This thesis investigates variation by socio‑demographic characteristics in the relationship between work characteristics and work‑family conflict for Australian parents, as well as differences in the relationship between parents’ work‑family conflict and children’s socio‑emotional and literacy development. The results show long hours and poor quality jobs are key sources of difficulty for parents, but are especially problematic for single mothers. The study also finds the implications of work-family conflict for children in vulnerable families are complex, with the results suggesting there are different dimensions to the effects of work‑family conflict on children depending on family environments. This research helps to understand the impact on children of the time‑money resource mix associated with work in different families, particularly in single mother homes and dual earner homes experiencing financial hardship.

Meg Kingsley is a PhD candidate in the School of Demography. Her research interests include the impact of work on wellbeing, child development and inequality. Meg’s work experience includes consulting in an independent policy and economics firm, and labour market research and analysis in the Australian Government. She holds a Master of Social Research (Advanced) from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in Psychology) from the University of Western Australia.

Date & time

Tue 08 Oct 2019, 11:30am to 12:30pm


Jean Martin Room, Beryl Rawson Bldg 13, Ellery Crescent, ANU


Meg Kingsley, PhD Candidate, ANU School of Demography


Susan Cowan


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