The Effect of Shift Work on Parental Interaction with Children, Marital Quality, and Depression.

Chris Morett, Fordham University
Emily Rosenbaum, Fordham University

We use the Early Child Longitudinal Survey-Birth Cohort to explore whether couples with one or both partners working non-standard shifts differ from other couples in terms of three outcomes: parent-infant interaction, depression, and marital quality. This paper promises to add to our understanding of shift work and family issues for several reasons. First, we consider both parents’ work schedules. Looking only at one parent’s shift does not provide complete information about the time dynamics within a family. Second, our analysis focuses on infants. Previous analyses focus on interaction with older children. Here, we focus on a crucial developmental stage. Preliminary findings show that work schedules are related to depression. They are also related to parent-infant interaction, but the pattern is thus far complex. Finally, shift work is related to marital discord, but weakly. We consider the implication of these findings for past research on work schedules and family outcomes.

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Presented in Session 124: Effects of Work Hours on Families and Children