Workplace Flexibility and Parent–Child Interactions Among Working Parents in the U.S.
Balancing work and caregiving demands is a critical challenge for working parents with young children. Workplace flexibility can serve to promote parent-child interactions by enhancing the coordination of work and family responsibilities. Using longitudinal data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), the study examined three potential sources of workplace flexibility—access to flexible schedules, working from home, and part-time employment—and their associations with the frequency of parent–child interactions (i.e., enrichment activities and daily routines) among parents with young children, with a particular focus on gender, household structures, and income. The results indicated that working from home and part-time employment were associated with more frequent enrichment parent–child interactions for mothers, while flexible schedules were associated with greater daily routine interactions for fathers. The positive associations between working from home and parent–child interactions were more pronounced among low-income mothers than mid- and high-income mothers. Fathers working parttime in dual-earner households more frequently interacted with their children than those in single-earner households. These findings suggest that distinctive types of workplace flexibility may work differently across gender, household structure, and household income.
KeywordsWorkplace flexibility Flexible schedules Working from home Gender Working parents Parent–child interactions
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