Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 1373–1393 | Cite as

Children’s Life Satisfaction: The Roles of Mothers’ Work Engagement and Recovery from Work

  • Saija MaunoEmail author
  • Riikka Hirvonen
  • Noona Kiuru
Research Paper


The present study examines whether mothers’ positive work-related experiences, work engagement and recovery from work, are indirectly linked to their children’s life satisfaction via mothers’ perceived life satisfaction and closeness with their children. Theoretically the study is based on the spillover and crossover models of work–family interface with a particular focus on positive interface, as this is a gap in the existing research. The sample consisted of 671 Finnish mother–child dyads. Survey-based data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The results showed that mothers’ work engagement and recovery from work were positively and indirectly associated with children’s life satisfaction via mothers’ life satisfaction and closeness with their children. The findings suggest that work-to-family crossover of positive work-related experiences does indeed occur from mothers to children. Employers should pay attention to mothers’ work engagement and recovery from work, because these positive work-related experiences are likely to promote mothers’ life satisfaction and a positive mother–child relationship which, in turn, may be reflected in children’s life satisfaction. Job resources and mental detachment from work while not working are vital for work engagement and recovery from work, and should be promoted.


Spillover Crossover Work–family interface Mother–child dyad Work engagement Recovery from work Life satisfaction Closeness with the child 



This study was supported by the Academy of Finland, Grant Number 266851.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Faculty of Social Sciences (Psychology)University of TampereTampereFinland

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