Social Indicators Research

, Volume 95, Issue 3, pp 363–376 | Cite as

The Impact of Fathers’ Work and Family Conflicts on Children’s Self-Esteem: The Hong Kong Case

  • Yuk King LauEmail author


Work and family conflicts are always viewed as issues of human resource management or occupational health. Insufficient attention has been focused on the impact on child development and quality of parenting, especially regarding the impact of a father’s work. To examine the impact of work and family conflicts on the quality of father–child interactions in Hong Kong, a cross-sectional survey was conducted. In total, 556 pairs of working fathers and their school-aged children participated in the survey. The findings of the survey indicated that fathers’ work-to-family conflicts negatively affected the quality of father–child interactions, which in turn caused harm to children’s self-esteem. In addition to work-family conflicts, a low income level of the fathers, a larger number of children in the family, and the presence in the family of children approaching adolescence were significant risk factors to the quality of father–child interactions. The mothers’ active parental involvement and the complexity of the fathers’ occupation were significant protective factors of the quality of father–child interactions. To facilitate strong family bonding and good quality parenting, possible measures to ensure a healthy work-family balance among working fathers are discussed.


Working fathers Work-family conflicts Children’s self-esteem Hong Kong 



The author would like to express her sincere gratitude to the Boys’ and Girls’ Club Association of Hong Kong for granting permission to use the data from the study “The Impact of Parents’ Work Situations on Children’s Development.”


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WorkThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina

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