Parenting Adolescents: Developing Strategies for FIFO Parents
- 1k Downloads
The objective of this study was to explore the parenting patterns of families exposed to the fly-in–fly-out (FIFO) work pattern in raising adolescent children, and develop and test the usefulness of a parenting resource specific to this family structure. A mixed methods research design was employed using semi-structured telephone interviews and questionnaires to collect information on parental monitoring, behaviour management, relationship quality, communication strategies, and parent and adolescent mental health. Twenty-one Western Australian at-home parents with FIFO partners, 23 FIFO workers, and 41 adolescent children of FIFO parents participated in the study. Responding parents and their children were generally coping well with the challenges of the FIFO work pattern. Parenting strategies such as open and meaningful communication; family time spent together; routines; social support networks and setting boundaries were discussed as strategies that were adopted by the participants interviewed to parent their adolescent children. FIFO families face increased challenges in providing consistent parenting strategies given the cyclical presence and absence of one parent. They are typically unable to dedicate time to attending face to face or group parenting sessions and can be reluctant to ask for help when the FIFO work pattern becomes problematic. An online parenting resource provides an effective tool to communicate successful parenting strategies for FIFO families with adolescents.
KeywordsParenting Adolescence Fly-in/fly-out FIFO
The research project ‘Raising Adolescents: Strategies for Fly In/Fly Out Families’ was supported by the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation (Healthway), through research Grant No. 22913.
- ABS. (2011). Highest level of education (all persons aged 15 years and over). Fact sheet. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
- Australian Department of Health and Ageing. (2004). Responding to the mental health needs of young people in Australia. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-pubs-r-respond.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2009). A picture of Australia’s children 2009 (Vol. Cat. no. PHE112). Canberra: AIHW.Google Scholar
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2011). Young Australians: Their health and wellbeing 2011 (Vol. Cat. no. PHE140). Canberra: AIHW.Google Scholar
- Clifford, S. (2009). The effects of fly-in/fly-out commute arrangements and extended working hours on the stress, lifestyle, relationship and health characteristics of Western Australian mining employees and their partners: Report of research findings. Unpublished D.Phil. thesis, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia.Google Scholar
- Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Cross, D., Shaw, T., Hearn, L., Epstein, M., Monks, H., Lester, L., & Thomas, L. (2009). Australian covert bullying prevalence study (ACBPS). Perth: Child Health Promotion Research Centre, Edith Cowan University.Google Scholar
- Forsyth, C. J., & Gramling, R. (1987). Feast or famine: Alternative management techniques among periodic father absent single career families. International Journal of Sociology of the Family, 17(Autumn), 183–196.Google Scholar
- Furlong, M., McGilloway, S., Bywater, T., Hutchings, J., Smith, S. M., & Donnelly, M. (2012). Behavioural and cognitive-behavioural group based parenting programmes for early-onset conduct problems in children aged 3 to 12 years. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008225.pub2.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gallegos, D. (2006). Fly-in fly-out employment: Managing the parenting transition. Perth: Centre for Social and Community Research, Murdoch University.Google Scholar
- Gramling, R., Wooddell, G., & Forsyth, C. J. (1998). Work scheduling and the construction of family disruption. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 26(2), 185–192.Google Scholar
- Herbert, B. (Writer). (2014). Nine FIFO suicides in 12 months leads to call for investigation. In B. Hawke (Producer), 7.30 Report. Sydney: ABC.Google Scholar
- Inquiry into the use of “fly-in, fly-out” (FIFO) workforce practices in regional Australia. (2013). Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
- Kessler, R. C. (1979). Stress, social status, and psychological distress. Journal of Health and Social behavior, 259–272.Google Scholar
- McGuinn, I. L. (2003). Adolescents’ perceptions of typical interparental conflict and quality of parenting: A path to depression and aggression. New Haven, CT: Yale University.Google Scholar
- Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA. (2010–2011). WA Resource Sector. WA, Australia.Google Scholar
- Watson, J. A. (2008). Adapting to the offshore lifestyle (Master of Sociology). Perth: Murdoch University.Google Scholar