Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 857–876 | Cite as

Employed Parents of Children with Disabilities and Work Family Life Balance: A Literature Review

  • Theresa J. BrownEmail author
  • Christine Clark
Original Paper



Work family balance (WFB) is an individual’s perception of the fit between work and family roles. Among employed parents of typically developing children WFB has been demonstrated to impact work functioning and physical and psychological health. Emerging from this mature field of research are examinations of WFB among parents of children with disabilities.


Our objective was to identify research to conduct a review and examine the expectation that individual and organizational factors impact WFB among employed parents of children with disabilities. Also, we identify existing research gaps in the literature, discuss how existing policies may need to be altered to better assist employed parents of children with disabilities, and identify ways practitioners can better assist these families.


We searched PsycInfo, EBSCO Host Web, and Proquest Central for English-language articles and dissertations. To obtain additional studies, we searched identified studies’ reference lists. We used the same databases to search for studies published by authors who have already published on WFB among parents of children with disabilities. Fifty-four studies examining WFB among employed parents of children with disabilities were identified.


Individual factors that had an impact on WFB were child age, number of children, childcare availability, relationship status, perception of one’s work role, and type and severity of the child’s disability. Organizational factors that had an impact on WFB were supervisory support, workplace policies, and organizational culture.


The extant research of WFB among employed parents of children with disabilities indicates that numerous variables impact these individuals’ WFB.


Parents Work family balance Disabilities Children Employment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Theresa J. Brown and Christine Clark declare that he/she have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGeorgian Court UniversityLakewoodUSA

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