The Life Satisfaction of Dual-Earner Mothers and Fathers: Does Flexible Scheduling Matter?
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- Minnotte, K.L., Minnotte, M.C. & Thompson, K. J Happiness Stud (2016) 17: 2365. doi:10.1007/s10902-015-9698-5
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Work and family scholarship emphasizes flexible scheduling policies as a key solution to the challenges faced by workers navigating the work–family interface. Despite making life easier for workers, very little research has considered how such policies relate to life satisfaction, especially in terms of how gender comes into play. This study examines how both the availability of flexible scheduling options and the actual use of such policies are differentially related to the life satisfaction of dual-earner mothers and fathers. To address this research question, we use data from the National Study of the Changing Workforce conducted in the United States (N = 211 dual-earner fathers and 284 dual-earner mothers). Results show that flexible scheduling availability is unrelated to the life satisfaction of fathers and mothers. In contrast, flexible scheduling use is significantly and positively related to life satisfaction for dual-earner mothers, but negatively related to the life satisfaction of dual-earner fathers. Explanations for these findings are discussed.