Non-Standard Work Schedules and Father Involvement: Moderating the Negative Impact of a 24/7 Economy on Child Behavioral Outcomes

Christine Leibbrand, University of Washington

Nonstandard employment, such as work during the evening or night shift, has become more prevalent in the U.S. , with approximately 18 percent of jobholders now working a nonstandard schedule. Research indicates that a mother’s nonstandard employment negatively influences her children’s behavioral development. However, rarely do workers remain in the same nonstandard schedule for more than a few years. Moreover, fathers and mothers may coordinate employment involving a nonstandard shift to solve childcare dilemmas. Work scheduling that permits this kind of “tag-team” parenting might increase father involvement with children, thereby leading to better child behaviors. This paper explores the impact of dual-earner parents’ nonstandard work arrangements on mother’s and father’s involvement with children, and whether these effects mediate or offset any negative effect of maternal nonstandard employment on children’s behavioral adjustment. I use data from the NLSY79 and its Child Supplement to estimate these effects for school-aged children between 1994-2006.

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Presented in Session 209: Work and Families