Employment, Work-Family Conflict, and Parenting Stress Among Economically Disadvantaged Fathers.

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Nomaguchi, Kei.
Johnson, Wendi.
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Qualitative research suggests that economically disadvantaged fathers experience considerable stress due to difficulty fulfilling the breadwinning ideal and workplace inflexibility that ignores their childcare responsibility. Yet, quantitative research on how employment and work-family conflict are related to fathers' parenting stress, especially in comparison with mothers', is limited. Analyses using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 3,165) show that current unemployment and greater work-family conflict, but not overwork, odd-jobs, and nonstandard hours, are related to more parenting stress for fathers. Similar patterns are found for mothers, except that work-family conflict is related to fathers' more than mothers' stress; and nonstandard schedule is related to less stress for mothers only. Current employment status and work-family conflict are the strongest predictors of fathers' but not mothers' stress. Results suggest that securing a job with flexible scheduling is important to reduce parenting stress among working-class parents regardless of gender. (Author abstract)

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